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Doctrine of Vibration 

An Analysis of the Doctrines and Practices 
of Kashmir Shaivism 

Mark S. G. Dyczkowski 


Delhi Varanasi Patna 

Bangalore Madras 

First Indian Edition : Oil hi, 1989 

Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar, Delhi 1 10 007 

Chowk, Varanasi 221 001 
Ashok Rajpath, Patna 800 004 
24 Race Course Road, Bangalore 560001 
120 Royapettah High Road, Mylapore, Madras 600004 

This edition is for sale in India only. 
O 1987 State University of New York. All Rights Reserved. 

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner 

whatsover without written permission except in the case 

of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Dyczkowski, Mark S. G. 
The doctrine of vibration 

(SUNY series in Kashmir Saivism) 

Includes index 

1. Kashmir Saivism — Doctrines. I. Title. II. Series. 

BL1281.l545.D93 1986 294.5 , 513 , 09546 86-14552 

ISBN : 81-208-0596-8 


This book is dedicated to m 

For you every vision hus become like the words of a sealed book. 

You give it to someone able to read and nay, "Read that." 

He replies, "I cannot, because the book is sealed." 

Or else you give the book to someone who cannot read and say, 

"Read that." 

He replies, *i cannot read." 

Isaiah 29/11-12. 


Acknowledgements ix 

Introduction 1 

The Land of Kashmir 

The Saivism of Kashmir and Kashmiri Saivism 

Abhinavagupta and the Flowering of Trika Saivism 

Tantra, Kashmiri Saivism and Kashmiri Society 
in the Eleventh Century 

The Philosophy of Recognition and the Doctrine 
of Vibration 

The Doctrine of Vibration 

Notes on Methodology and Synopsis of Contents 

Chapter I The Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 33 

Saiva Idealism 
Kashmiri Saiva Realism 

Chapter II Light and Awareness: The Two Aspects 59 

of Consciousness 

Prakasa: The Light of Consciousness 

Self- Awareness and Consciousness 

Awareness and the Integral Nature of the Absolute 

Chapter HI Spanda: The Universal Activity of Absolut* 

Three Moments in the Vibration of Consciousness 

The Conative Power of Consciousness* 

The Cognitive Power of Consciousness 

The Power of Action 


Chapter IV 

Siva and Sakti 


The Nature of Sakti 


Chapter V Sakti Cakra: The Wheel of Energies 

The Wheel of Vamesvarl 
The Wheel of the Senses 


Chapter VI The Divine Body and the Sacred Circle 

of the Senses 

Chapter VII The Path to Liberation 

The Means to Realisation 
No-Means (Anupaya) 
The Divine Means (Sambhavopaya) 
The Empowered Means (Saktopaya) 
The Individual Means (Anavopaya) 







This book was originally researched and written in Oxford. I will 
always be grateful to Richard Gombrich, at present Boden professor of 
Sanskrit at Oxford University, who gave me the opportunity to do this 
work. I also wish to thank Mr. G. S. Sanderson, at present lecturer in 
Sanskrit at the same university, whose zeal and scholarship inspired me. 
My gratitude also extends to a close disciple of the Late Maha- 
mahopadhyaya Gopinatha Kaviraj, Professor Heman Chakravarti 
with whom I read my first Kashmiri Saiva works in India before going 
to Oxford and the late Pandit Ambikadatta Upadhyaya who taught 
me Sanskrit. 

Above all I cannot be thankful enough to my parents whose support 
has been constant and unremitting, both through my stay in Oxford, 
and for more than fifteen years in India. Finally, I wish to acknowledge 
the help of Giovanna, who has been both a wife for me and a mother 
for our children. 


The Land of Kashmir 

The ancient Himalayan kingdom of Kashmir is now part of the 
province of Jammu and Kashmir situated in the extreme northwest of 
India. The heart of modern Kashmir is, as it was in the past, the wide 
and fertile valley of the river Vitasta. Set at an altitude of five thousand 
feet, the valley's beautiful lakes and temperate climate nowadays attract 
tourists in large numbers during the summer months when temperatures 
rise high into the forties Centigrade on the North Indian plains. Although 
most of the population is at present Muslim, before the advent of Islam in 
the thirteenth century, Kashmir enjoyed an unparalleled reputation as a 
centre of learning amongst both Buddhists and Hindus. Kashmiris 
excelled not only in religious studies but also in the secular fields of 
Sanskrit literature, literary criticism and grammar as well as the sciences, 
including medicine, astronomy and mathematics. They had a uniquely 
realistic sense of history clearly evidenced in Kalhana's twelfth century 
chronicle of the kings of Kashmir, the Rajatarariginl, which is virtually 
the only history of its kind in India. 

Remarkable as Kashmir has been as a seat of Hindu spirituality 
and learning, it was no less so as a centre of Buddhism. Possibly 
introduced into Kashmir as early as the third century B.C., Buddhism 
had already developed there to such a degree by the first century of our era 
that the Kushan king, Kaniska, chose Kashmir as the venue of a major 
Buddhist Council. It was a huge gathering, attended by more than five 

2 The Doctrine of Vibration 

hundred Buddhist monks and scholars. The previously uncodified 
portions of the Buddha's discourses and the theoretical portion of the 
canon (the Abhidharma) were codified and the rest extensively revised. 
The entire early canon, the Tripifaka, was then inscribed on copper 
plates and deposited in a stupa. In the centuries that followed most forms 
of Indian Buddhism flourished in Kashmir. Of the early schools the 
Sarvastivada was particularly well developed. Similarly, the schools of 
the Great Vehicle, both those of the Middle Way and the idealist Yogacara, 
were taught and practiced extensively. Kashmir also produced many fine 
Buddhist logicians in the line of Dinnaga and Dharmaklrti, amongst 
whom Vinitadeva and Dharmottaracarya, who lived in the eighth century, 
are the most famous. 

The borders of Kashmir at that time extended further west beyond 
the roads to Asia which ran through the Swat and Chitral valleys in 
Gilgit. For this reason Kashmir was the first to make a substantial 
contribution to the spread of Buddhism in Central Asia, which began 
about the fourth century A.D. and travelled along these routes. Many 
Buddhists, attracted by Kashmir's reputation, came from distant lands 
to learn Sanskrit and train as translators and teachers. One of the earliest 
and most brilliant was Kumarajlva (334-413 A.D.). Born into an 
aristocratic family of the Central Asian kingdom of Khotan, he came to 
Kashmir in his youth and learnt there the scriptures of the Great Vehicle 
from Bandhudatta. He then went to China, where he lived and worked 
for the rest of his life, translating Buddhist scriptures. The Kashmiri 
Buddhabhadra, his contemporary, did the same. Yoga teachers like 
Dharmabhiksu attracted a large number of Chinese and Kashmiri 
students at the end of the fifth century when there was a growing foreign 
interest in Buddhist Yoga. It was also during this period that the Kashmiri 
Buddhasena translated a major work of the idealist Buddhist Yogacara 
school — the Yogacarabhumi — into for the first time. In 
631 A.D., Hsiian Tsang, one of China's most famous Buddhist pilgrims, 
came to study in Kashmir leaving us an account of his two-year stay 
which eloquently testifies to Buddhism's popularity and influence. 

Such was Kashmir's reputation that it was from here that Tibet 
originally chose to receive its religion. The first king of Tibet, Srong-bcan- 
sgampo, sent Thon-mi Sambhota to Kashmir during the reign of 
Durlabhavardhana (616 A.D.). He learnt Sanskrit from Devatitasimha 
and returned to Tibet with a modified thirty-letter version of the 
Kashmiri script. 1 Kashmir continued to play a role in the transmission 
of Buddhism from India into Tiber although other routes (particularly 
through Nepal) later became more important. By the eleventh century, 
when the Kashmiri Saiva schools were reaching the peak of their 

Introduction 3 

development, Kashmir was also, as Tucci says, "one of the places where 
Buddhism prospered most, even if not as state religion, certainly as the 
home of the greatest scholars and exegetes of the time." 2 

The rich spiritual and intellectual climate of Kashmir helped to 
foster an important and far reaching development that affected every 
aspect of Indian religious life, namely, Tantra. About the middle of the 
first millennium of our era, Tantra began to assume a clearly defined, 
although immensely varied, identity through the emergence of vast 
corpuses of sacred literature that defined themselves specifically as 
Tantric. There can be no doubt, despite the fragmentary and as yet 
poorly researched evidence, that Kashmir was an important centre of a 
wide range of Tantric cults, both Hindu and Buddhist. Many famous 
Buddhist Tantric teachers lived in or near Kashmir at that time. Naropa 
and even Padmasambhava (who is said to have introduced Tantric 
Buddhism into Tibet) sometimes figure in Tibetan sources as Kashmiris. 3 
Uq'Q'iyana (Tibetan: U-rgyan), important as Padmasambhava 's birth- 
place and as a major centre of Tantric Buddhism and Hinduism, may 
well have been located in the nearby Swat valley. 

Both of Tantra 's major Hindu streams, one centred on the worship 
of Visnu and the other on Siva, evolved a bewildering number of Tantric 
cults, some large others small. Kashmir contributed substantially to 
these developments not only on the Saiva side but also on the Vaisnava. 
Indeed, the earliest known references drawn from Vaisnava Tantric 
sources are found in the writings of Kashmiris. 4 Nowadays the form of 
Vaisnavism that looks to these scriptures as authoritative, namely, the 
Pancaratra, survives only in South India; however, the earliest Southern 
teachers of this school looked to Kashmir as one of their oldest seats of 
learning and spiritual culture. 5 But although the worship of Visnu, 
whether performed according to the norms prescribed by the Tantras 
or otherwise, was certainly an important feature of Kashmiri religious 
life and was patronised extensively by the Hindu kings of the valley, 
even so, Saivism remained, on the whole, the dominant form of Hinduism. 

The Saivism of Kashmir and Kashmiri Saivism 

We know very little of the origins of Saivism in Kashmir, although 
tradition testifies to its antiquity in this part of India. The written 
records confirm that it has always occupied an important place in the 
religious life of Kashmir. Thus Kalhana records (possibly from earlier 
chronicles) the existence of an already ancient temple dedicated to 
Siva in emperor Asoka's time. Although this is hardly possible, as 

4 The Doctrine of Vibration 

temples were not constructed in India as early as the third century B.C., 
this reference illustrates the then 6 common Kashmiri belief in Saivism's 
ancient presence in Kashmir. 7 Certainly the many newly constructed 
temples, as well as the old ones renovated throughout the period covered 
in Kalhana's history, testify to Saivism's continuing popularity. In the 
early ninth century A.D., when the first Kashmiri Saiva works were 
written, there were numerous Saiva groups in the valley of Kashmir. 
Amongst them were those that came to form a part of what we nowadays 
call Kashmiri Saivism of which the Spanda school, whose teachings 
we are concerned with here, was the first development. 

All these Saiva groups, diverse though they were, accepted the Saiva 
Tantras (also known as Agamas) as their scriptural authority. Some 
groups would look to one section of the Agamas, others to another. 
They thus ordered themselves quite naturally into lineages of Tantric 
masters who initiated disciples into the rituals and other practices of 
their chosen Tantras. We know of the existence of these Tantric sub- 
cultures not only from epigraphic and other sources including other 
Hindu scriptures, particularly the Puranas, but also from the Agamas 
themselves. Although the Agamas are all considered to be divine 
revelation and hence, in a sense, eternal, they do nonetheless reflect 
the growth of these Saiva groups for they not only studied them but 
also contributed to them. Thus, one way in which we can understand 
how these groups are related is to see how the Saiva Tantras have ordered 
themselves in relation to one another. The brief account that follows 
of the Saiva canon 8 will hopefully serve to indicate in broad terms how 
the Saiva groups that have contributed to the formation of Kashmiri 
Saivism are related to Tantric Saivism as a whole. According to an 
important system of classification we find in the Agamas themselves, 
they can be divided into the following sections. 

Saivasiddhanta. The Agamas generally agree that there are twenty-eight 
principal Siddhantagamas and about two hundred Saiva scriptures 
(called Upagamas) affiliated to them. 9 All the main Agamas, and 
many of the secondary ones, are still extant in South India, although 
only a relatively small number have as yet been edited from the manuscript 
sources. The cults of these Agamas are largely concerned with the 
worship of Sadasiva which is generally conducted in public temples and 
is centred on the Linga, Sadasiva 's phallic symbol. Descriptions of the 
temples, Linga and iconic forms of the gods and goddesses of the 
Siddhanta constitute an important part of these Agamas. They also 
deal extensively with the rituals related to them. These include the 

Introduction 5 

regular daily rites as well as occasional ones such as consecration 
ceremonies and festivals. Other important rituals are those that concern 
the initiation of the neophyte into this form of Saivism or the priesthood. 

The Agamas are primarily concerned with ritual and devote relatively 
little space to philosophical matters or even yoga. Even so, the philo- 
sophical standpoint of these Tantras can, broadly speaking, be said 
to be a dualism of a more or less tempered form although not one 
consistently maintained throughout them. The homonymous philo- 
sophical school inspired by these Agamas, however, ultimately developed 
a well defined dualism, according to which there are three basic realities, 
namely, Siva (pati\ the fettered soul (pasu) and the factors that bind 
it (pasa). The Kashmiri Saiva tradition records that the founder of 
dualist Saivism was called Amardaka. This name recurs in inscriptions 
and other sources as that of an important founder figure believed to have 
lived in the eighth century. This Amardaka had predecessors and so 
cannot really be said to have founded this branch of Saivism; even so, 
he is important as the founder of a major Siddhanta monastic centre 
(ma(ha). This centre, named Amardaka after its founder, was located 
in Ujjain. Purandara, Amardaka 's successor, also founded a Siddhanta 
order, namely, the Mattamayura. This order was named after the 
capital of the Calukya empire in the Punjab where its headquarters 
were located. A third important order was the Madhumateya founded 
by Pavanasiva to which belonged the royal preceptors of the Kalacuri 
kings of Central India. 

Siddhanta ascetics, full of missionary zeal, used the influence of 
their royal patrons to propagate their teachings in the neighbouring 
kingdoms, especially in South India. From the oldest capital of the 
Calukyas, Mattamayura, they established monasteries in Mahara§tra, 
the Konkan, Karnataka, Andhra and Kerala. The Siddhanta flourished 
in the areas where it spread, until it was devastated by the Muslim 
invasions, which started in the eleventh century, or supplanted by 
other forms of Hinduism. It survived, however, in South India where 
it changed its medium of expression from Sanskrit to Tamil in which 
form it is better known and persists to this day. 10 Although Saiva- 
siddhanta survives at present only in South India, we know that a 
number of the earliest commentators of the Agamas and important 
authors of independent works expounding the philosophy of the 
Siddhanta were Kashmiris. 11 Monist Kashmiri Saiva 12 authors quote 
them with great reverence as their predecessors, although they do not 
always agree with them. There can be no doubt that the Siddhanta 
greatly influenced Kashmiri Saivism which largely adopted it, reshaping 
it on non-dualist lines. 

6 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Bhuta and GUrwjla Tantras. These two groups of Agamas have been 
almost entirely lost. They are considered together as they appear to 
have much in common. We know that both dealt with magical cures 
(particularly of snakebite), exorcism of malevolent ghosts and spirits, 
the protection of children from such entities as well as the acquisition 
of magical powers and other such matters. References to these two 
groups is common in the Siddhantagamas, and Kashmiri Saivites also 
knew of them although already at this time (viz., the ninth century A.D. 
onwards) they were clearly on the decline, at least in Kashmir. 13 

The V&matantras. According to the classification we are following in this 
account, each group of Agamas constitutes a 'current' (srotas) of 
scriptures spoken by one or other of Sadasiva's five faces. The Siddhanta 
belongs to the Upper current, spoken by the Upper face, while the 
Bhuta and Garudatantras belong to the Western and Eastern currents. 
The Vamatantras were spoken by the Northern face. This face, located 
to the left of centre (which is in the eastern direction), is that of the 
left-hand current, not to be confused with the Tantric distinction 
between 'left' and 'right-hand' paths. 

The only Tantra belonging to this group that has been recovered 
so far is the Vinasikhatantra recently edited from just two Nepalese 
manuscripts by Dr. T. Goudriaan. 14 Although this group of Tantras is 
regularly mentioned in the primary sources when they refer to the 
Saiva canon and its divisions, the cults associated with it seem to have 
had little success in India and practically died out after the first millennium 
of our era. The dominant form of Siva in these Tantras appears to have 
been Tumburubhairava. 15 He is described as having four faces, each 
one of which spoke one of the major Tantras of this group, namely, the 
Tantra of the Severed Head (Sirascheda), the Tantra of the Crest of the 
Vina (Vindtikha), the Tantra of Delusion (Saipmohana) and the 
Tantra of the Higher Law (Nayottara). 16 

These Tantras, and with them the cult of Tumburu, spread from 
India to Southeast Asia sometime before the end of the eighth century. 
We know from a Cambodian inscription discovered at Sdok Kok Thorn 
dated 1052 A.D. that these Tantras were known there at the time. This 
inscription commemorates the history of a lineage of royal priests 
founded by Sivakaivalya who was the priest of Jayavarman II who 
returned to Cambodia from exile in Java in 802 A.D.. At that time a 
Brahmin called Hiranyadama taught the four Tantras to Sivakaivalya 
and several rites described in them were performed for the benefit of 
the king. We also find references to Tumburu in Sanskrit hymns and 
fragments from Bali, some of which go back to an early period of Hindu 

Introduction 1 

influence in Indonesia. 17 The absence of further reference to these 
Iantras and their cults in Southeast Asia seems to indicate that, as 
happened in India, they did not survive much beyond the eleventh 
century. Similarly, although the Vamatantras were known in Kashmir, 
monistic Kashmiri Saivites clearly preferred the Siddhantagamas and 
the Bhairavatantras to which we now turn. 

The Bhairavatantras. As their name suggests, the Bhairavatantras 
were especially (but not exclusively) concerned with the worship of 
Bhairava. Bhairava is an important form of Siva known and worshipped 
throughout India. He is popular both in the literate Sanskrit tradition 
as well as in many non-literate vernacular traditions. Bhairava, whose 
name literally means 'the Terrible One\ is the 'wrathful', 'frightening' 
form of Siva Who is 'peaceful' and 'auspicious'. Abhinavagupta, an 
important Kashmiri Saiva teacher (see below), explains the popular 
Tantric etymology of the word Bhairava as follows: 

1) Bhairava is He Who bears all things and is supported by the 
universe, filling it and sustaining it on the one hand, while uttering 
it or conceiving it on the other. 18 

2) Bhairava is He Who protects those frightened by the rounds 
of rebirth. 19 

3) Bhairava is the One born in the heart of those who, terrified 
by transmigratory existence, call on Him for help. 20 

4) Bhairava is He Who arouses by His grace a fear of trans- 

5) Bhairava is He Whose light shines in the minds of those yogis 
who are intent on assimilating time (kalagrasa) into the eternal presence 
of consciousness and thus exhaust the energy of time said to be the 
driving force behind the machine of the galaxies. 21 

6) Bhairava is the Lord of the powers of the senses whose shouting 
(ravana) frightens the souls in bondage. 22 

7) Bhairava is the Lord Who calls a halt to transmigration and 
thus is very terrible. 23 

There are countless forms of Bhairava, each with their own name. 
A typical and widely-known form is that of Mahakalabhairava. He 
is worshipped in major centres in India including Ujjain, Benares and 
Kathmandu. He is the protector of these three cities. One could add, 
incidentally, that Mahakala is also an important Buddhist god and as 
such is the guardian of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. He is described 
as dark blue or black 24 and fierce in appearance. He carries the skull 
of the creator-god, Brahma, as penance for having cut off his head to 

8 The Doctrine of Vibration 

save the world from its great heat generated within it by Brahma's 
pride. 25 Bhairava's furious drunkenness and body aflame with the fire 
of cosmic destruction has served for centuries as an archetype of the 
liberated state for numerous Saiva cults. All these culls shared the view 
that liberation is essentially freedom from the opposites of good and evil; 
thus the adept who seeks it must break through them to a higher state of 
expanded, inebriated and blissful consciousness that, unaffected by 
them, encompasses both. 

In the Kashmiri Saiva tradition, Bhairava is understood as the 
divine form of the absolute realised as the exertive force (udyama) that 
drives the senses and mind at the microcosmic level along with the 
universe at the macrocosmic level. 26 Much of Kashmiri Saiva practice — 
particularly that of the Doctrine of Vibration with which this volume 
is concerned — deals with how to lay hold of this inner power and identify 
with it. One way is to arouse the spiritual and cosmic energy latent in 
the soul through an expansion of consciousness brought about by the 
performance of rituals and the practice of yoga. Unlike the rituals of the 
Siddhanta, which generally take place in public, many of these rituals 
were originally performed in cremation grounds or lonely places for the 
benefit of a few select initiates. Again, unlike the Siddhanta rituals, 
many of them involve the offering of meat and wine to the deity and, 
at times, ritual intercourse. 

The Bhairavatantras were not the only Tantras to advocate such 
practices. Moreover, they were numerous and of varied content and 
not all of them considered these practices important. Thus a Bhairava- 
tantra well known to Kashmiri Saivites, the Svacchandabhairavatantra, 
allows such practices, but even so generally advocates 'tamer' procedures 
similar to the rituals of the Siddhantagamas. The Bhairavatantras are 
conventionally said to number sixty-four but must have been many 
more. They were major sources for Kashmiri Saivites. 

Other Saiva Groups, Important precursors of the Agamic Saiva groups 
were the Pasupatas. References to them are found in the earliest 
portions of the Mahabharata and in Patanjali's commentary on Panini's 
grammar written in the second century B.C. Unfortunately, we do not 
possess any original scriptures of these early Saiva sects. The Pasupata- 
sutra, the only work we have, is relatively late although earlier than the 
tenth century A.D.. 27 It enjoins, amongst other things, that Pasupatas 
should behave in a manner contrary to accepted norms. They should 
laugh and cry like madmen, make lewd gestures at young women and 
abuse those that approach them. The aim was thereby to overcome the 
ego and gain magical power through transgression. Those who behaved 

Introduction 9 

in this way were the votaries of the Great Vow (mahavrata). Other 
extremist Saiva sects that adhered to the Great Vow were the skull- 
bearing ascetics of the Kapalika order and other Saiva groups collectively 
said to belong to the Higher Path (atimarga). 2 * 

Other important Saiva groups are those of the Kaulas. In a sense, 
successors of the early extremist Saiva sects belonging to the Higher 
Path, these groups are closely affiliated to other Saivagamic groups, 
particularly those of the Bhairavatantras. They are very important in 
the history of Kashmiri Saivism as it later developed extensively by 
integrating into itself a number of Kaula systems, largely divested of 
their outer ritual forms. Monist in outlook, the original Tantras of 
these groups were, as were the Bhairava and Vamatantras, strongly Sakta 
in tone. Although they remained essentially and consistently Saiva, 
they stressed the worship of female divinities. Thus they represent 
the precursors of the later Sakta Tantric tradition. Indeed the word 
'Kula' itself denotes the power of consciousness — Sakti, the Goddess 
Who is the emission (yisarga) of the absolute (called Akula), through 
which the universe is created. 29 

Amongst the many Kaula schools, the most important for Kashmiri 
Saivites were these of the Krama and Trika. The Krama School is 
important because it deals with what were considered to be the most 
secret doctrines and practices of Kashmiri Saivism, namely, those 
involved in the worship of Kali. Basing itself on concepts already 
developing in the original Tantras and the oral traditions associated 
with them, the Kashmiri Saiva Krama elevated the worship of Kali 
to a level beyond outer ritual. Ritual came to be understood as an inner 
process of realisation through which the initiate discovered his essential 
identity with Kali Who is the flow (krama) of the power of consciousness 
through the polarities of subject, object and means of knowledge in 
consonance with their arising and falling away in each act of perception. 
The experience of this process coupled with the arousing of man's 
spiritual potential (kun<jlalini) and the expansion of consciousness 
that brings it about is the most esoteric practice of Kashmiri Saivism. 
The Kaula character of this school is evidenced by the fact that it 
advocates the ritual consumption of meat and wine as well as ritual 
intercourse, as a possible means of developing this consciousness. 

Abhinavagupta and the Flowering of Trika Saivism 

In order to complete our general survey of the forms of Agamic 
Saivism incorporated into Kashmiri Saivism, before we turn to those 

10 The Doctrine of Vibration 

schools that originated in the hands of monist Kashmiri Saivite philo- 
sophers, we turn now to that of the Trika and to Abhinavagupta who 
developed and made of it the culmination of Kashmiri Saivism. 
Abhinavagupta lived in Kashmir from about the middle of the tenth 
century into the eleventh. He was, without a doubt, the most brilliant 
of the Kashmiri Saiva teachers and one of the greatest spiritual and 
intellectual giants India has produced. He wrote more than sixty works, 
some very extensive, and all remarkable for the beauty of their Sanskrit 
and profundity of thought. His literary activity falls into three periods. 
In chronological order these are: 30 

1) Tantrika. This, the first period of Abhinavagupta's literary life, 
extends probably up to his early forties, and concerns us particularly 
here. In this period Abhinava sought in his writings to establish the 
superiority of Trika above all other schools of Agamic Saivism. His 
most important work during this period is the Light of the Tantras 
(Tantralokd). It is an extensive and difficult text in which he quotes 
from numerous Agamic sources belonging to all (or most) types known 
in Kashmir. If not the most important, certainly one of the most important 
works of Tantric Hinduism, it reads as an exposition of Saivagamic 
ritual and practice couched in the monistic philosophy of Kashmiri 
Saivism (i.e., the Pratyabhijna). Abhinava 's aim was to bring together 
the major Saivagamic schools into that of Trika Saivism and in so doing 
he has provided us with a unique account of Agamic Saivism, albeit 
from his point of view. 

2) Poetics and Dramaturgy. In the second period of his life Abhinava 
wrote important works in these fields. Indeed, it is for this contri- 
bution that he is best known. His commentary on the Nafyasastra, the 
foremost treatise in Sanskrit dramaturgy, is the only one preserved, 
a fact that testifies to its excellence and influence. Similarly, his 
commentary on Anandavardhana's Mirror of Suggestion (Dhvanyaloka) 
is justly famous. In this work Anandavardbana and Abhinavagupta 
expound the theory that the soul of poetry is its power of suggestion 
through which sentiment is conveyed to the reader. 

3) Philosophical. In the last period of his life Abhinava wrote extensive 
and profound commentaries on Utpaladeva's Stanzas on the Recognition 
of God (lsvarapratyabhijnakarika). In these commentaries he elucidates 
the Doctrine of Recognition (pratyabhijna) which is the monistic 
philosophy proper of Kashmiri Saivism to which we shall refer later. 

Introduction 1 1 

We know that Abhinavagupta was a Brahmin belonging to the 
Atrigotra and that his ancestors were distinguished scholars in the 
court of Kanauj. They were brought to Kashmir by King Lalitaditya 
about the middle of the eighth century. Abhinava's grandfather was 
Varahagupta and his father Narasimhagupta, also known as Cukhala. 
Despite the Vaisnava connotations of his father's name, he was an 
ardent devotee of Siva. Abhinava refers to him reverently in several 
places as the teacher who taught him, amongst other things, the 
fundamentals of Sanskrit grammar, logic and literature. 31 His mother, 
for whom he had great affection, died when he was a child. 32 Abhinava 
took full advantage of the many Saiva Masters and teachers of other 
branches of learning who lived in Kashmir. Even in this, his formative 
period, he shunned the company of the impious and so, as he tells us, 
"lived a solitary life devoted to the quest for truth." 33 When Abhinava 
wrote the Light of the Tantras (Tantrdloka) in his early middle age, 
he seems to have had just a small group of close disciples, almost all 
of whom were members of his family. He tells us that his brother 
Manoratha was one of the first to learn from him 34 and that he was later 
joined by Kama, the husband of his sister Amba. Kama's premature 
death, which left his wife alone with their only son, led her to devote 
herself entirely to the worship of Lord Siva and the service of her brother. 
Kama's father was a minister who had left the court to become "a minister 
of the Lord." 35 His sister, Vatsalika, was the aunt of Mandra, Kama's 
cousin and close friend. All these in-laws of Abhinava 's sister were 
devoted to him and served him faithfully. Thus Mandra invited him to 
stay in his town outside Pravarapura (modern Srinagar) where, in the 
house of Vatsalika, he wrote his Light of the Tantras for the benefit of 
his disciples who, Abhinava tells us at the end of his work, wanted to 
gain "a perfect knowledge of the Tantras." 36 Almost all the other 
disciples he refers to here were the sons of his paternal uncle. Amongst 
them was one called "Ksema" who may possibly have been none other 
than Ksemaraja, his most distinguished disciple. It must have been 
in this period of his life that Madhuraja, an aged itinerant ascetic, came 
from South India to Kashmir and wrote his eulogy of Abhinavagupta 
entitled, Reflections on the Master (Gurunathaparamarsa). There he 
describes Abhinavagupta as still young and seated in the midst of a 
great congregation of religious leaders, preceptors and female ascetics 
(yogini) who recognised him to be the foremost preceptor of all the 
Saiva groups then prevalent in Kashmir, including the Siddhanta, 
Varna, Bhairava, Kaula and Trika. 37 

Abhinavagupta 's works can be said to represent the climax of a 
hermeneutics of synthesis and exegesis of the Saivagama initiated by 

12 The Doctrine of Vibration 

the revelation of the Aphorisms of Siva (Sivasutra) to Vasugupta in 
the beginning of the ninth century (see below). In his Light of the Tantras 
which, according to Abhinava, is a manual of the rituals and attendant 
doctrines of the Anuttaratrikakula n (also known simply as Trika), 
he introduced a unified exegetical scheme inspired by Sambhunatha, 
his teacher in Trika Saivism. This scheme brings together what he saw 
as the essential elements of all Saiva ritual and doctrine. Thus he sought 
to fill out and complete the theology and praxis of the Trika school. 39 
As we know that Sambhunatha came to Kashmir from Jalandharapltha 
(Punjab? Himachal?), and that his teacher, Sumati, came from "some 
sacred place in the southern land," 40 it seems therefore that Trika, in 
the form Abhinavagupta learned it, was not originally Kashmiri. 
Trika, so called because triads feature prominently in its presentation 
of the nature of reality and praxis, is said (in the Kashmiri tradition) 
to look to three scriptures as its primary authorities, namely, the 
Malinlvijayottaratantra, the Siddhayogesvarlmata and the (A)namaka- 
tantra. The Malinivijaya is quoted by authors prior to Abhinavagupta 
as was another Trikatantra, the Trikasara. AX The Triad of Supreme 
{Para), Middling (Parapara) and Inferior (Apara) goddesses, who are 
the focus of worship in this school, were also known and venerated 42 
in Kashmir before Abhinavagupta 's time. Even so, it was he who made 
Trika the focal point of non-dualist Kashmiri Saivism. 

In order to trace the history of Trika Saivism we must eventually 
come to grips directly with Agamic Saivism in its original scriptural 
sources. It is also there that we must seek to uncover the origins of 
two other Tantric systems scholars have discerned as syncretized in the 
works of these Kashmiri Saivites, namely, the Kula and Krama. 43 We 
must seek out the origins of these systems in the Agamas because it is 
in them, and through them, that these systems developed until they 
emerged, as it were, from out of the dark, mysterious anonymity of 
scripture and revealed their essential purport in the works of known 
authors who were the recipients of a traditional interpretation of these 

This aspect of Kashmir Saivism is the hardest to deal with because 
the origins of these systems, with their attendant lineages, are easily 
lost in their antecedents and in the broader context of the greater cultic 
milieu of Agamic Saivism as a whole. In order to understand Abhinava's 
Trika (and hence to know an important aspect of Kashmiri Saivism) we 
cannot just limit ourselves to the Kula and Krama. Nor is it possible 
to understand the limit of even these two systems. For although the 
Krama and Trika can be treated as Tantric systems in the Kashmiri Saiva 
context (and we understand Kashmiri Saivism here in the restricted 

Introduction 1 3 

sense noted above), if we inquire into their antecedents we find that 
they do not have the same clearly defined identity in their scriptural 
sources. Thus Kula is not a Tantric school or system in the same sense 
as are the Trika and Krama insofar as 'Kula' is a broader generic term 
for a number of major traditions, each with its own secondary branches. 
Again, in both the Agamic context and Abhinava's Light of the Tantras, 
"Kula" is not only a blanket term for Kaula Saivism (as a d istinct category 
of the Saivagama) 44 but also indicates a liturgical type or archetypal 
pattern which Abhinava terms Kulaprakriya, the fc Kula Method'. 
This method is contrasted with, as complementary to, the basic Tantric 
Method — Tantraprakriya. The rituals of the Krama school, which 
involve the- consumption and offering of meat and wine to the deity, 
as well as ritual intercourse, 45 fall into the former pattern. Those of the 
Trika (as we would expect since it integrates every form into itself) 
contain both. That Trika and Krama (at least as presented in the 
Kashmiri Saiva context) share common Kaula roots is clear from the 
fact that the masters who are traditionally said to have brought the 
Kula scriptures to earth are equally venerated in both traditions. 46 
This does not mean that the Trika school is to be simply identified with 
Kula for Abhinava clearly distinguishes between the two in a number 
of places, usually indicating the superiority of the former over the 
latter. We understand this to mean not that Trika excludes Kaula 
Saivism but that Trika, as presented by Abhinava, completes it, so to 
say, as its finest flower. Indeed, from Abhinava 's point of view, which 
he supports by reference to scripture and sustains on the authority of his 
teacher Sambhunatha, Trika comes as the culmination of the entire 
Saivagamic tradition and encompasses it. 47 Heading a hierarchy of 
Agamic 'systems', arranged in such a way that the higher members 
include the lower, Trika (and hence Kashmiri Saivism) contains them 
all. Abhinava thinks of Tantric systems in their original Agamic contexts. 
He makes observations on the level and relationship between initiates 
belonging to the different currents (srotas) of Saiva scripture. 48 This 
is coupled, following a method of exegesis already worked out in the 
Agamas themselves, with the hierarchy of forces and metaphysical 
principles which constitute reality. 49 It makes sense, therefore, that 
Abhinava should insist that in order to study and understand Kashmiri 
Saivism, it is essential not only to have studied grammar* logic and the 
orthodox philosophical systems, but also to have a sound knowledge 
of the Saivagamas. 50 

Sumati, who was Abhinava's grandteacher in the Trika, was 
reputed to have a thorough understanding of the five currents of 
Saiva scripture as well as the Pasupata and kindred schools that 

14 The Doctrine of Vibration 

constitute the Higher Path (atimarga). 5 . Trika, Krama and Kula are 
therefore just a part of what Abhinava and Kashmiri authors have 
attempted to bring together into one system. Although they are certainly 
very important, they are far from being the only components. In fact, 
we should even reckon the dualist Saivasiddhanta amongst them, not 
to mention the Agamas of the Bhairava current of Saiva scripture. 
The former is important because it constitutes the backbone of the 
ritual of Abhinava 's Trika, which he presents as blended predominantly 
with that of the Malinivijaya, the Svacchandabhairavatantra and other 
Tantras such as the Trisirobhairava and Devyayamala. The latter 
is important because at least the Siddhayogesvarlmata, one of the 
most authoritative of the triad of scriptures to which Abhinava 's Trika 
looks for scriptural support, belongs to the Bhairava group of Saivagamas. 

Tantra, Kashmiri Saivism and Kashmiri Society 
in the Eleventh Century 

Despite Kalhana's frequent references to temple building and 
endowments and the pains he takes to note prominent figures in 
Kashmir's history, and although he himself was Saivite, 52 he ignores 
Saiva teachers of the non-dualist faction. The one exception is a well- 
known reference to Kallatabhatta, 53 a key figure in the Spanda tradition 
to whom we shall have occasion to refer later. Clearly what we nowadays 
call Kashmiri Saivism was not a religion of the masses. Abhinavagupta 
himself declares that it is very hard to find even one person who is 
qualified to follow the Saivism of his Light of the Tantras. Nonetheless, 
he wishes that "at least someone impelled by Siva should make an 
effort to achieve perfection in this system". 54 Here Abhinava is referring 
specifically to the form of Trika Saivism he elaborates in this work. 
He implies that those who dedicated themselves to this system were a 
minority amongst the followers of that type of Agamic Saivism to which 
the Trika was affiliated, namely, that of the Kaulas and of the Bhairava- 
gamas. Although the members of these Agamic traditions were them- 
selves probably a minority of the Hindu population, they must have 
been a notable feature of Kashmiri society, certainly larger in number 
than their absence in Kalhana's work would lead one to suppose. This 
is probably due to the fact that Kalhana, being the son of a minister, 
was particularly concerned with the history of the Kashmiri courts 
and their vicissitudes, rather than with the religious history of Kashmir, 
Although Abhinavagupta, for example, must have been an intellectual 

Introduction 15 

of repute, Kalhana never refers to him. This is probably because Abhinava 
lived a life away from the Kashmiri political scene, never attaching 
himself to the court despite his reputation among his contemporaries. 

Another reason for Kalhana 's silence was that the type of Saiva 
culture represented in the elevated and refined works of these authors 
was a source of scandal and the object of active repression. Kalhana 
himself entertained but scant regard for the individuals who posed as 
its privileged hierophants. What he has to say about King Kalasa and 
his associates exemplifies his attitude well. King Kalasa (1063-89 A.D.) 
lived a particularly dissolute life choosing to surround himself with 
rogues, procurers, and teachers of Tantric cults that encouraged depravity 
and licentiousness. One such was the 'Cat Merchant' whose influence 
over the king and the learned of his court suggests that belief in these 
'extremist' Bhairava-centred Saiva cults prevailed at times even in 
these circles. Thus Kalhana writes: 

These honourable and learned men (bhaffapada) who knew how 
to behave fearlessly at great [Tantric] rites and who, grimly conscious 
of their power and thus immune to terror, were heedless even to 
Bhairava, would fall to the ground in fear and bend their knees before 
the *Cat Merchant*, who put them at ease again by placing his hand 
on their heads . . . Deceitful of his ignorance and vaunting his [learning] 
as a physician and Guru, he gradually established a position [for himself] 
as the Guru of dyers and other craftsmen. 55 

Abhinava, for his part, wrote eulogies of the land of Kashmir as a 
place where Tantric adepts, male and female, met to drink the wine for 
which his beloved land was famous and "inspired timid lovers with 
confidence" 56 to play in this garden strewn with saffron flowers growing 
as an offering to the Three Goddesses of Trika Saivism. Ksemendra, 
a well-known Kashmiri poet and younger contemporary of Abhinava, 57 
on the contrary, was struck by the hypocrisy, greed and lasciviousness 
of the masters of the Tantric cults belonging to the culture from which 
Abhinavagupta drew inspiration. He felt it his moral duty to write 
biting satires on this and other aspects of what he considered to be the 
corruption that afflicted Kashmiri society in his day. 58 In this spirit he 
describes in his Garland of Satire {Narmamala) a Kaula ritual centred 
on a manolala in which are drawn male and female sexual organs coupled 
in union. The rite is officiated by Trighantika, a Bhairavacarya (also 
called Kulacarya) who, already in a drunken state, is brought to the 
house where the rite is to take place, supported by two disciples. His 
other disciples are a motley crowd of low caste reprobates including 

16 The Doctrine of Vibration 

shoemakers, butchers, fishermen, fake ascetics, old prostitutes, pimps, 
liquor distillers and drunken Brahmin bards. Ksemendra describes him as: 

The Saiva master (saivacarya), Trighantika, [disfigured] like the 
root of an elephant's ear, his eyes wrathful, throat swollen with goitre 
and nose severed, he performs the Great Vow [mahavrata of antinomian 
behaviour] and his face is [withered and distorted in appearance like] 
the female sexual organ. Naked, he attends to the vow of observing 
the auspicious times [to perform ritual intercourse — velavratiri], both 
silent and a composer of hymns, his knees [are round and swollen like] 
bells. Exalting, surrounded by dogs and mad women, his body smeared 
with faeces he knows the Mantras, practices alchemy, magic, and 
ritual intercourse. Full of wisdom, he knows the nature of lust. 59 

Supposedly learned Brahmins who belonged to the higher levels 
of society were also among Ksemendra 's favourite targets. Kaula 
doctrines were, it seems, particularly deleterious for them. He writes: 

[Here], come to his preceptor's house, is the learned Brahmin 
(bhaffa) initiated [into Kaula practice]. In his hands a fish and ajar 
[of liquor], his mind made up to drink, freed by JCaula doctrine of the 
sense of shame [he should feel] by virtue of his caste. 

Filling himself with [the wine which is] Bhairava, making the sound 
"gala gala" of a jar as it fills, he seems carried away in its flow and is 
bent over by its flood [like a jar tipping over in a torrent of water that 
makes that same sound as it fills]. 

Passing thus the night [he leaves] drunk, vomiting his wine; his 
face licked by a dog, the Brahmin in the morning is purified by his 
prostration in the midst of other learned men. 60 

Cakrabhanu was an important Kashmiri master of the Kalikrama. 
According to Kalhana, he was the son of a minister who, for his objection- 
able practices, was branded on the forehead with the mark of a dog's 
foot. 61 A manuscript of one of his works, possibly written in prison, 
is preserved in Nepal. There he writes about how he longs to be released 
from prison so that he can go out at night to the cremation ground, his 
forehead covered with the edge of his turban, to offer human sacrifice 
to the goddess Kali. 62 Somadeva, a Jain monk living in South India 
in the tenth century, refers in the Yasastilaka to the Kaulas whom he 
identifies with the followers of the Trika. He is very critical of the Trika 
Kaulas whose antinomian behaviour he took to be no more than a sign 
of their depravity. If salvation were the fruit of reckless living, he says, 
then it would sooner come to thugs and butchers than to Kaulas. Even 

Introduction 17 

though this is almost the only independent reference we have to Trika 
Jsaivism, it is nonetheless solid evidence for the existence of Trika as a 
distinct school and to its presence far outside the confines of Kashmir. 63 
Somadeva also tells us in this way that the followers of the Agamic Trika 
were (or at least seemed to him to be) far different from the refined, 
spiritual Kashmiris, like Abhinavagupta, in whose hands Trika came 
to finally blossom. 

The Philosophy of Recognition and the Doctrine of Vibration 

Up to now we have dealt with the components of Kashmiri Saivism 
that are derived directly from the Tantric traditions of the Saivagamas, 
namely, the Kula, Krama and Trika. The two schools of Kashmiri 
Saivism left to consider, namely, those concerned with the philosophy 
of Recognition (Pratyabhijna) and the Doctrine of Vibration (Spanda), 
unlike the others, do not extend back directly into Agamic traditions. 
Both have, for this reason, a peculiar importance of their own and 
merit separate consideration as independent schools although they 
share much in common and have deeply influenced each other. We 
turn first to the philosophy of Recognition and conclude with the 
Doctrine of Vibration, the subject of this book. 

The Pratyabhijna represents the fullest expression of Saiva monism, 
systematically worked out into a rational theology of Siva and philosophy 
of absolute consciousness with which He is identified. The Pratyabhijna 
takes its name from the Stanzas on the Recognition of God (jsvara- 
pratyabhijnakarika) written by Utpaladeva towards the beginning of 
the tenth century. Utpaladeva understood the ultimate experience of 
enlightenment to consist essentially of a profound and irreversible 
recognition that one's own authentic identity is Siva Himself. According 
to him: 

The man blinded by ignorance (Maya) and bound by his actions 
(karma) is fettered to the round of birth and death, but when knowledge 
inspires the recognition of his divine sovereignty and power (aisvarya) 
he, full of consciousness alone, is a liberated soul. 64 

According to Utpaladeva, the soul is bound because he has forgotten 
his authentic identity and can only achieve liberation, the ultimate 
goal of life, by recognising his true universal nature. Realising that 
everything is a part of himself, extending his being in wonderfully 
diverse forms, the fettered soul achieves this recognition and with it the 

18 The Doctrine of Vibration 

conviction that he is not a slave of creation (pasu) but its master (pati). 
In this way he who thought himself weak discovers his spiritual might. 
Failing to recognise his identity with Siva, the one reality Who is the 
life and Being of every existing thing, the soul perceives only their 
individual identity and thus severs them from one another and from 
himself. For this reason he is seemingly sullied by his actions and 
afflicted by the myriad conditions that stand as obstacles to the realisation 
of his goals. 65 Yearning for liberation, he is like a young woman betrothed 
by arrangement to a handsome man. Hearing of his many fine qualities 
she comes to love him even though she has never seen him. One day they 
chance to meet but she remains indifferent to him until she notices 
that he possesses the qualities of the man she is to marry and so, to her 
great delight, she recognises him. 66 Similarly, just as man and wife 
become one in spirit, so the fettered soul becomes one with Siva by 
recognising his identity with him, and is liberated. 

Utpaladeva's teacher was Somananda whose Vision of Siva 
(Sivadrsfi) is the first work of the Recognition school. Somananda 
lived towards the end of the ninth century and was, he says, the nineteenth 
in line from Tryambaka. Tryambaka, according to Somananda, 67 
was the mind-born son of Durvasas, 68 who taught him the principles 
of Saiva monism he had learnt on Mount Kailasa from Srlkantha, 
a form of Siva. 69 Tryambaka figures again in another account, this 
time one which refers to the origin of Trika. 70 According to this story, 
Durvasas was instructed by Srlkantha (here represented as an incarnation 
of Siva) that "he may spread the wisdom of Trika (sadardhakramd) 
which is the essence of the secret of all Saiva scripture." 71 Durvasas then 
generated from his mind three perfected yogis, namely, Tryambaka, 
Amardaka and Srinatha, who taught Saiva monism, dualism and 
unity-in-difference, respectively. 72 Of these, the lineage (sampradayd) 
founded by Tryambaka that transmitted monistic Saivism was none 
other than that of the Trika. 73 

On the basis of this connection J. C. Chatterjee thought the 
Pratyabhijna to be the "philosophy proper of the Trika" and identified 
the two as did K. C. Pandey. 74 At the same time Pandey simply took 
the Tryambaka of these accounts to be Somananda's legendary ancestor 75 
and distinguished between monistic Saivism as a whole founded by 
Tryambaka and the Pratyabhijna started by Somananda. 76 Presumably 
Pandey believed that Trika was the original form of monistic Saivism 
of which the Pratyabhijna was a later development, initiated by 
Somananda. It seems more likely, however, that Trika was traditionally 
identified in this way with monistic Saivism as a whole to enhance its 
importance. In the same way, Somananda attributed the beginnings 

Introduction 19 

of his own system to a popular mythical figure associated with the origins 
of Agamic Saivism in order to lend it the authority of a tradition grounded 
in the scriptures. To do this he sought the support of an already existing 
mythical account of the origin of the monistic strains in the Agamas. 
Utpaladeva, therefore, is justified in referring to the Pratyabhijna 
taught by Somananda as a 'New Path'. 77 It is, moreover, an entirely 
Kashmiri product. Jayaratha, Abhinavagupta's commentator, accord- 
ingly says that this, the doctrine of the 'oneness of the Lord' (Jsvaradvaya- 
vac/a), initiated by Somananda, flourished in Kashmir and it is from 
there that it spread to other parts of India where it was received as 
a product of that land, as precious and unique to it as saffron itself. 78 

The importance of the Pratyabhijna in the development of Kashmiri 
Saivism lies in its rigorously philosophical exposition of those fund- 
amental principles of monistic Saivism that Kashmiri Saivites considered 
to be essentially common to all the schools of Kashmiri Saivism. Through 
the Pratyabhijna the monism of the Tantric schools and their idealism 
was supported by sound argument and an analysis of the fundamental 
problems that any thoroughgoing Indian philosophy must tackle. 
These problems include the nature of causality, the problem of change 
and continuity, the nature of the absolute and its relationship to its 
manifestations and the relationship between God and man. 

Somananda and Utpaladeva enjoy the distinction of having 
introduced a number of fundamental concepts previously unknown 
or poorly understood. Certainly the most important of these new ideas 
was the concept of the Superego. According to these philosophers 
ultimate reality is Siva Who is the identity of all beings as pure T 
consciousness. This entirely original idea had important repercussions 
in the later monistic philosophies through which the Tantras were 
interpreted. Worth noting also is the fact that the precedents of what 
is less original in this philosophy are found not so much in the Agamas 
(although it is certainly, as it professes, in harmony with their monistic 
strains), but in the works of earlier philosophers and so should be 
considered to belong to the history of Indian philosophy rather than 

An important source of the Pratyabhijna is, for example, the 
philosophy of the Saivasiddhanta (not to be confused with the Siddhanta- 
gamas). Although Saivasiddhanta is dualist in orientation and insists 
on a distinction between God and the individual soul, nonetheless it 
prefigures many of the essential elements of the philosophy of Recog- 
nition. Particularly important in this respect is the Siddhanta's phenomen- 
ological analysis of Being which stresses the reality of experience. 
The world is quite real 79 and consciousness is the essential nature of 

20 The Doctrine of Vibration 

both God and the soul despite their equally essential differences. 
Consciousness is the direct perception of entities just as they are in 
themselves, insofar as it is experience-as-such (anubhava) free of 
thought-constructs. 80 

Somananda was concerned with refuting rival Hindu schools; 
he does not tackle the traditional enemy of the Hindu philosopher, 
namely, the Buddhist. Utpaladeva, on the contrary, builds up the 
Pratyabhijna as a critique of the Buddhist doctrine of 'no-self (anatma- 
vada) %x and in this way he is clearly following in the tracks of his dualist 
Saiva precursors. In a manner reminiscent of Utpaladeva's latter 
argumentation, the Siddhanta pointed to the phenomenon of recognition 
as proof that objects are not momentary and that they are essential 
for language to be possible. 82 Moreover, a conscious Self, the Siddhanta 
argued, must persist unchanged in order to connect a previous perception 
with a subsequent perception as a necessary condition for recognition. 83 
In Somananda's work, the term 'recognition' appears just once and does 
not bear the specific technical sense it has for Utpaladeva. Somananda 
does seek to establish that a unity must exist between the perception of 
a previously perceived object and its recollection in order that its 
recognition as the same be possible, but he does this merely to prove 
that an essential unity underlies the two perceptions. 84 He does not 
think of recognition as the intuitive capacity of consciousness to grasp 
its own nature. This extension of the recognitive faculty common to 
every act of determinate perception occurs for the first time with 

The development of the meaning and implication of the concept 
of recognition is emblematic of the logical development of this phase 
of the history of Indian philosophical thought from dualist to monistic 
Saivism. It serves to stress the fact that the Pratyabhijna developed 
in the milieu of philosophical and theological speculation. The Spanda 
school and its Doctrine of Vibration, with which this book is concerned, 
is best understood, however, as a development of the practical application 
of the yogic doctrines of the esoteric Agamic traditions of Kashmir. 

The Doctrine of Vibration 

Just as the Pratyabhijna school is named after Utpaladeva's 
Stanzas on the Recognition of God, so the Spanda school takes its 
name from one of its root texts, namely, the Spandakdrika, the Stanzas 
on Vibration. The philosophy of the Pratyabhijna focuses on the 
liberating recognition of the soul's authentic identity as Siva while the 

Introduction 21 

Doctrine of Vibration stresses instead the importance of experiencing 
Spanda, the vibration or pulse of consciousness. The mainstay of the 
Doctrine of Vibration is the contemplative experience the awakened 
yogi has of his true nature as the universal perceiving and acting 
consciousness. Every activity in the universe, as well as every perception, 
notion, sensation or emotion in the microcosm* ebbs and flows as part 
of the universal rhythm of the one reality, which is Siva, the one God 
Who is the pure conscious agent and perceiver. According to the 
Doctrine of Vibration, man can realise his true nature to be Siva by 
experiencing Spanda, the dynamic, recurrent and creative activity 
of the absolute. 

The Spanda school, like the Pratyabhijna, originated and developed 
in Kashmir through the works of known authors, not in anonymous 
Tantras. Indeed, the origins of this school mark the beginnings of 
Kashmiri Saivism in our modern sense of the term. In the first half 
of the ninth century, a Saiva ascetic called Vasugupta received, Ksemaraja 
tells us, a revelation from Siva in a dream in which he was told that an 
important message for all mankind lay hidden on Mount Mahadeva 
in Kashmir. Going to the spot indicated to him, he found a boulder on 
which were inscribed the Aphorisms of Siva (Sivasutra).* 5 Consisting 
of some eighty brief statements, the Sivasutra summarizes the essentials 
of monistic Saiva Yoga. Although its authorship is traditionally 
attributed, as is scripture, to Siva Himself, it is nonetheless the first 
Kashmiri Saiva work. Concise as it is profound, the Sivasutra required 
explanation and so commentaries came to be written, four of which 
survive. The most extensive is the Vimarsinl by Ksemaraja, Abhinava- 
gupta's closest disciple. It has already been translated into a number of 
languages. Varadaraja, Ksemaraja's junior contemporary, wrote 
another commentary largely based on Ksemaraja's work. Although 
lacking originality it does contain a few novel ideas. It is not just a 
summary cf it, as is the anonymous Sivasutravrtti. A fourth commentary, 
by Bhaskara, however, differs from it in many respects. Predating 
Ksemaraja's work, it appears to represent an independent commentatorial 
tradition. It is, as yet, untranslated. 86 

Vasugupta's most prominent disciple was Kallatabhafta who lived 
during the reign of King Avantivarman (855-883 A.D.). 87 The Stanzas 
on Vibration (Spandakarikd) are, according to some Kashmiri Saiva 
authors, 88 the work of Kallatabhatta who wrote them with the intention 
of summarizing the teachings of the Sivasutra. Although we cannot be 
sure whether it was he who wrote the Stanzas or, as Ksemaraja maintains, 
Vasugupta himself, there can be no doubt that he wrote a short com- 
mentary (vrtti) on it which was the first of a series of commentaries by 

22 The Doctrine of Vibration 

various authors, including two by Ksemaraja who took a special 
interest in this branch of Kashmiri Saivism. Indeed, it seems that 
Ksemaraja's very first work was a commentary on the first verse of the 
Stanzas which he called the Essence of Vibration (Spandasamdoha). 
After writing his commentary on the Aphorisms, he wrote an extensive 
commentary on all the Stanzas called the Determination of Vibration 
(Spandanirnaya). This work has been translated. 89 

In a companion volume we shall publish a translation and study 
of Kallata's commentary along with Ksemaraja's Essence of Vibration 
and the remaining two surviving commentaries that have not yet been 
translated, namely, the Lamp of Spanda (Spandapradipika) by 
Bhagavatotpala and the Extensive Commentary (vivfti) by Rajanaka 
Rama. 90 Although both predate Ksemaraja, they are later than Utpala- 
deva whom they quote and so belong to the latter half of the tenth 
century. The reader is referred to our volume of translations for a 
detailed account of these authors and the historical development of 
the Doctrine of Vibration as reflected in their works. 

Notes on Methodology and Synopsis of Contents 

This book can be read from two points of view: as an introduction 
to the doctrines and practices of the Spanda school of Kashmiri Saivism 
as well as to Kashmiri Saivism as a whole. The reader is thus free to read 
this volume alone or else to make use of it as an introductory study to 
the companion volume of translations. The scope of the present work 
covers the exposition of the Doctrine of Vibration in its most complete 
expression as presented by Ksemaraja in his commentaries on the 
Stanzas on Vibration, a work which, although considered to be the 
root text of the Spanda school, Ksemaraja effectively treats as a concise 
and direct exposition of the essentials of Kashmiri Saivism as a whole. 
It seems that for this reason he boasts of the superiority of his commentary 
over that of others who failed to present such a complete synthesis 
of the essential doctrines of all the schools of Kashmiri Saivism. 91 
Insofar as the fifty-one Stanzas on Vibration present the essential 
teachings of the Aphorisms of Siva, 92 which Ksemaraja characterizes 
as "a compendium of secret Saiva doctrine," 93 they are a succinct 
exposition of monistic Saiva yoga — the 'secret' of the Saivagama. 94 

Following in Ksemaraja's tracks, this exposition presents Spanda 
as a doctrinal formulation of the dynamic character of the absolute 
and its manifestations at every level of existence and experience. 
Appearing in many forms, it is a fundamental feature of the Saiva 

Introduction 23 

absolute, both in the primary Agamic sources and in their exegesis 
at the hands of Kashmiri authors. In the present work we have therefore 
chosen to cut across the internal distinctions between schools and 
traditions within Kashmiri Saivism to present Spanda as a concept 
which represents an important point of contact between them, on the 
one hand, ond on the other to see how each of these schools contribute 
to the development of the Doctrine of Vibration within the context 
of the Spanda tradition. In our companion work, particularly in our 
analysis of the Stanzas of Vibration and their commentaries, we note 
differences in emphasis and terminology and points of divergence between 
this and other schools of Kashmiri Saivism. We also indicate how the 
commentators who have drawn from other traditions have modified 
the original Spanda doctrine and how it has, in its turn, influenced 
these other schools. In other words, the presentation of the Doctrine 
of Vibration in the present work is systematic and generic, whereas 
in the later it is historical and particular. 

These two approaches are possible and valid because Kashmiri 
Saivism can be studied as a unit and does indeed constitute, according 
to its authors, a single corpus of literature. Even so, when we study 
these works we find ourselves drawn in two directions, one being to 
consider them as part of a whole, and the other to discern in them 
different schools or systems. 95 Thus on the one hand we can study each 
system in the process of its development within the context of Kashmiri 
Saivism (and in some cases, through their Agamic antecedents); on 
the other hand, we can study Kashmiri Saivism as a collective development 
of these various schools. Each system develops to varying degrees, 
and in different ways, by the accretion of elements from others and 
can be explained in terms of the other systems. Thus the study of 
any one of these systems is impossible without reference to the others. 
This is particularly true of the Spanda tradition because, as already 
noted, it eventually came to represent a focal point of synthesis of all 
these schools. From this point of view Spanda presents in general 
and essential terms the whole of Kashmiri Saivism. 

Thus although this book is about Spanda, the Pratyabhijfia serves 
as an important source, particularly for the first two chapters because, 
despite differences in both doctrine and terminology, it has served, 
within the extended ambit of the Spanda tradition presented by Rajanaka 
Rama and Ksemaraja, as a definitive statement and defence, in philo- 
sophical terms, of Spanda doctrine. The point of contact is the idealism 
of both systems. Consciousness rather than Being is the most perfect 
representation of the absolute. It is not just a consciousness which 
observes but one that actively perceives itself as its object through, 

24 The Doctrine of Vibration 

and as, each act of perception. The fundamental concept of consciousness 
as a universally active and absolute principle is common to both Spanda 
and Pratyabhijna. Indeed, it is common to every formulation of the 
nature of ultimate reality we find expressed in the varying terminology 
of the doctrinal systems which constitute the semantic manifold of 
Kashmiri Saivism as a whole. 

Spanda is the spontaneous and recurrent pulsation of the absolute 
objectively manifest as the rhythm of the arising and subsidence of 
every detail of the cosmic picture that appears within its infinite expanse. 
At the same time, Spanda is the inner universal vibration of consciousness 
as its pure perceptivity (upalabdhfta) which constitutes equally its 
cognizing subjectivity (jnatftva) and agency (kartrtva). Common to 
all these systems is this liberating insight into the nature of the outer 
recurrence of reality through its manifest forms as an expression of its 
inner freedom and inherent power. It is for this reason that it is possible 
to move from the world of discourse of one system to that of another 
to form a single universe of expression. 

In Chapter One the Saiva concept of the absolute is contrasted 
with that developed through an exegesis of the Upanisads by Sankara 
in his Advaita Vedanta. Although this form of non-dualist Vedanta 
was unknown to these authors, it represents, typologically, forms of 
absolutism they knew well, namely, those that understood non-duality 
solely as the transcendental unity of the absolute. This transcendental 
absolute is the infinite, supreme reality (paramartha) contrasted with 
the finite as the ground of its apparent existence. The finite, although 
not totally unreal, is a lesser reality of undefinable status (anirvacaniya), 
much as an illusion exists in relation to its real ground. 

This approach is contrasted with that of monistic Saivism, which 
establishes that reality can be one and undivided only if it is understood 
to be a creative, infinite absolute that manifests itself actively through 
the finitude and transitoriness of phenomena perpetually changing in 
consonance with the absolute's activity. Thus we encounter Spanda in 
its most fundamental form when we deal with the Saiva solution to the 
problem of relating the finite to the absolute — a problem common 
to all absolutisms. It is Spanda, the inscrutable pulse of consciousness, 
that moves and yet moves not, that changes and yet remains eternally 
itself, that ensures that both manifestation and the absolute, its unmanifest 
source, form part of a single process which passes freely from one to 
the other in such a way that both poles are at the same level and equally 

Somananda lists a number of Vedantas in terms of their most 
characteristic doctrines. Amongst them are the bhrantivadins, who 

Introduction 25 

maintain that the world is an illusion and hence unreal. 96 Thus, although 
he did not know about Sarikara's Advaita, Somananda was well aware 
that the world of manifestation can be understood to be less than 
real, and he is careful to refute this view in various places throughout 
his work. Later Pratyabhijna authors, particularly Abhinavagupta, 
follow suit. The Pratyabhijna doctrine of manifestation (abhasavada) 
differs radically from that formulated by the forms of Vedanta typified 
by Sarikara's Advaita. From the Advaita point of view, manifestation 
is an appearing to be (abhasa) in the place of actual existence. The 
unity of being appears to be a multiplicity in the sense of its seeming 
to appear as such. Those ignorant of the underlying unity behind this 
apparent diversity assume that the latter is all that exists whereas it 
has no real independent existence. The Pratyabhijna also understands 
manifestation to be an appearance {abhasa) — not, however, in the 
sense of a semblance, but as the manifest form of the absolute. The 
everyday world of diversity is not a world of semblances contrasted 
with an absolute that preserves its authenticity and absolute nature 
by never being actually and phenomenally manifest. 

Although these Kashmiri schools are idealist, they affirm the 
reality of the world and the common commerce of daily life (yyavahard). 
Even so, the reality status of appearances is variously conceived in the 
works of Pratyabhijna authors, and in Kashmiri Saivism as a whole. 
To quote extreme examples, we can observe a contrast between the 
uncompromising realism of Somananda — for whom even illusions are 
real insofar as they are manifest appearances — and Abhinava's adaptation 
of the Paramarthasara, in which we find a clear-cut distinction between 
levels of manifestation in the absolute, such that the higher levels are 
fuller expressions of its essential nature, and therefore are more 'real' 
than the lower levels. Similarly, we can observe a range of views in 
the commentaries on the Stanzas on Vibration. Bhagavatotpala, for 
example, influenced by monistic Kashmiri Vaisnavism, 97 maintains 
that the universe is, in a sense, both a real as well as an apparent trans- 
formation of the absolute (parinama and vivarta). 9 * Rajanaka Rama, 
on the other hand, tends to interpret the Stanzas as positing a distinction 
between a real, ultimate reality (paramartha) and the unreal (asat) 
experience of pleasure, pain and dullness. 99 Ksemaraja, for his part, 
maintains that in reality "nothing arises or falls away" but, even so, 
asserts that manifestation is real in the sense that it is the shining appearing 
of the power of consciousness. 100 The divergence and contrast between 
the presentation of Spanda doctrine and its original form in the Stanzas 
is a measure of the divergence of views within the wider ambit of the 
works by Kashmiri Saiva authors and those they accepted as authoritative. 

26 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Our point of departure here is the presentation of the world-affirming 
realism of Saiva absolutism as a whole. Despite the fact that it was 
variously tempered in the course of its exposition and development, 
this realism remained essentially unchanged. 

Chapter Two deals with the Pratyabhijna representation of the 
Saiva absolute as Light (prakasa) and reflective awareness (vimarsa), 
terms which denote the pure Light of the absolute and its infinite 
appearing. The absolute is Siva Who is universal consciousness and 
man's authentic nature (atman) Who, reflecting on Himself, actively 
generates and discerns His own manifestations. 101 Thus a striking 
feature of Pratyabhijna literature in its original sources is the regular use 
made of analogies with the properties of light to express and explain 
the nature of manifestation. It is common in these works for the author 
to express the notion that an object is manifest, appears, is visible, or 
just simply exists, by saying that "it shines." Thus, typically, the 
Pratyabhijna establishes that all things participate in the one reality 
by arguing that nothing 'shines' (i.e., appears, manifests or exists in its 
apparent form) if it is not illuminated by the light of consciousness. 
If phenomena were to be anything but 'light', they could not 'shine', 
that is, exist. One cannot help recalling here a famous passage from 
the Svetasvataropanisad: 

The sun shines not there, neither moon nor stars. There these 
flashes of lightning do not shine nor does fire. It is that by whose shining 
all things shine. It is the light of That which illumines all this. 102 

Light and its attendant phenomena fascinated Kashmiri minds. 
Thus the dualist Kashmiri Siddhantins also make use of light analogies 
freely, as do monistic Kashmiri Vaisnavas and Kashmiri poets such as 
Ratnakara (the author of the Haravijaya) who uses words for 'light' 
or 'brilliance' to express the appearance of the details which fill out and 
decorate his poetic descriptions. Even so, it is with Utpaladeva and 
Abhinavagupta that this terminology really comes into its own. 
Somananda makes but sparse use of it, while in the Aphorisms of 
Siva and the Stanzas on Vibration which predate Somananda, the 
terms 'light' (prakasa) and 'reflective awareness' (vimarsa) are entirely 

Consequently, Spanda doctrine (and so, one could add, Kashmiri 
Saivism at its inception) originally lacked an important characterisation 
of absolute consciousness which clearly distinguishes it from other 
Indian absolutisms, namely, its existential status as a Superego (aham- 
bhava). Utpaladeva was later to insist that if the light of consciousness 

Introduction 27 

were devoid of reflective awareness, it would be as inert and lifeless as 
the light of a crystal. 103 He meant to say that the light of consciousness 
not only illumines and makes manifest all things, but that it is a living 
light which, reflecting on itself, is an infinite, self-conscious subjectivity. 
This subjectivity, as the pure T sense, is the very "life of all living 
beings." 104 Somananda also refers to Siva as the pure egoity of 'myself 
(asmad) 105 and in so doing clearly distinguishes his view from that 
of his senior predecessors who were the custodians of the doctrines 
of the Aphorisms of Siva and the Stanzas on Vibration. 

A careful, unprejudiced reading of the Stanzas without reference 
to its later commentaries (all of which postdate Utpaladeva) reveals 
that despite the fact that commentators found the Superego hidden in 
these verses, it was not really there. The original concept of the Self 
in these early works was, in fact, generally closer to that of the Agamas, 
which understood liberation as a freedom from egoity that entailed 
no loss of personal identity. Accordingly, in the Stanzas, this self- 
identity is neither understood as an impersonal 'at man' nor as a Superego, 
but rather as one's own being (svabhava) which, belonging to none other, 
is intimately one's own (svasvabhava) as one's own fundamental state 
of being (svasthiti). This personal identity is the living soul (Jiva) who 
is none other than Siva Himself. 106 The soul's inherent and authentic 
attribute (akrtrimadharma) is cognizing subjectivity (Jnatrtva) coupled 
with agency (kartrtva). 101 Yet although it is thus both the agent and 
knower, the soul is nowhere identified with an egaK:onsciousness 
(ahambhava) even though it is said to be a state of pure perceiving 
subjectivity (upalabdhrta). In this way the soul is not confused with 
the individual subject (grahaka) set in opposition to its object. 108 In 
the Stanzas and in Kallaja's commentary, the ego is consistently relegated 
to the level of a notion or conception of oneself (ahampratyaya) which 
inevitably figures as a part of an idea or mental representation of the 
type: "I am happy, sad or dull." It is never found as a pure ego outside 
such patterns of representation. 

Of the commentators, only Bhagavatotpala observes this feature of 
Spanda doctrine without overlaying and obscuring it with ulterior 
interpretations. This is because he is not concerned to integrate 
Pratyabhijna into Spanda doctrine, as are the other commentators 
who stress, in typically Pratyabhijna terms, that the goal of the Spanda 
teachings is the recognition (pratyabhijna) of Spanda as the activity 
of consciousness. In this way, they say, it is possible to lay hold of one's 
own authentic identity as the universal agent and perceiver, understood 
as the universal vibration (samanyaspandd) of the pure ego. Although 
Bhagavatotpala does talk of recognition, and even quotes Utpaladeva 's 

28 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Stanzas on Recognition, his intention is to refer to nothing more than 
a faculty of individualised consciousness which enables One to recognise 
past experience and link it with the present. He does this in order to 
establish the permanence of a personal identity constantly and universally 
present in all experience. He never represents recognition as an intuitive 
insight into reality. Bhagavatotpala is in this instance (as he is in general) 
more consistent with original Spanda doctrine than are other commen- 
tators. This is not just because he seeks to be faithful to the text, but 
also because the monistic Vai§navism he integrates into Spanda doctrine 
agrees with it more exactly, in this respect, than does the PratyaDhijna. 

Even so, Spanda is generally represented as the activity of the pure 
T and more particularly as a manner of characterising the reflective 
awareness (yimarsa) of its universal Light. This identification has 
been so thorough that the doctrine of Self as 'one's own nature' (svabhava 
or svasvabhava) no longer features evidently in the works of Kashmiri 
Saivas. Although it is in fact a technical term charged with a very 
specific meaning in its own right, 'own* nature' (svabhava) seems in 
these works to be merely a manner of referring to oneself as an immediate 
qualification of the ultimate principle and, as such, to pure T con- 
sciousness. 109 

In this way the doctrinal identity of the Spanda teachings has 
been worn away, so much so, that as eminent a scholar as K. C. Pandey 
has been led to say that the Stanzas on Vibration is only a minor treatise 
dealing with certain aspects of the Pratyabhijna system, particularly 
with what is termed 'reflective awareness' (yimarsa) in Utpaladeva's 
Stanzas on Recognition. 1 ™ Pandey has been misled by the equations 
made in the Spanda commentaries as well as in the Pratyabhijna of 
cognate concepts and terms in the two systems. Thus, for example, 
'sphuratta', meaning literally 'radiant pulse' or 'glittering', is an inherent 
quality of the light of consciousness in the Pratyabhijna world of 
discourse. It also means 'pulsation' or 'vibration', and so quite naturally 
is equated with Spanda by Abhinavagupta, 1 1 1 who sees it as corresponding 
to the activity of the reflective awareness of consciousness which reflects 
upon its manifestations within its own pure noetic continuum. Thus 
Light (prakasa) represents consciousness as its own illuminating 
knowledge, and awareness (vimarsa) its activity. 

In Chapter Two we discuss this dimension of Spanda in Pratyabhijna 
terms. In Chapter Three we examine what is meant by 'Spanda' in its 
own terms as a movement which proceeds from the interior domain of 
undifferentiated consciousness, out to the exterior domain of its 
manifestation which is created as it moves outward and is destroyed 
when it returns to the inner state of undifferentiated unity. 

Introduction 29 

Just as the step from a personal self-identity, which is at the same 
time the universal perceiving and acting subjectivity identified with 
Siva Himself, to a universal T consciousness is a short one, so too 
that from Spanda (as the creative-cum-destructive activity of Reality) 
to its representation as power is easily made. In the original Spanda 
doctrine 'Spanda' is a neutral term simply denoting this recurrent 
activity, whether it be that of the Supreme Principle in itself (equivalent 
to Siva, the male polarity) or that of its power (the female polarity) — a 
power that extends and withdraws as the will or intent to manifestation. 
The commentators are, however, generally more struck by the power of 
this activity, than by the activity itself, and so Ksemaraja goes so far 
as to talk of the power of Spanda as 'Spandasakti', a term unknown 
to other commentators. Once again it is Ksemaraja and Rajanaka Rama 
who depart most distinctly from the original form of Spanda doctrine. 
Ksemaraja, who everywhere in his works finds equivalents in Krama 
doctrine for the essential principles of other systems, here sees Spanda- 
sakti as the Krama Goddess of Consciousness (samviddevi). Rajanaka 
Rama, who is not concerned to integrate Krama into the Doctrine 
of Vibration, finds equivalents in the Saktism of PradyumnabhaUa. 
Thus, universal Spanda, which he equates with the 'principle of power' 
(saktatattva), 112 is none other than the Supreme Goddess (paramesvari), 
who manifests Herself as all the principles (tattva) constituting the one 
reality — including Siva Himself. Therefore, according to Rajanaka 
Rama, Spanda is the Goddess Who is the highest principle. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that a number of modern scholars 
consider Spanda doctrine to be Sakta-oriented. 113 Indeed, Spanda 
regularly figures as Sakti in Kashmiri Saiva works in general and so 
is presented in this way in Chapter Four where Sarikara and His Spanda 
nature are viewed as the equivalents of Siva and Sakti. The relationship 
between these polarities within the unity of the absolute is examined from 
various points of view, as presented in the works of Kashmiri Saiva 
authors, and in the Agamas which serve as their sources. The dynamic 
recurrence which characterises their relationship is, in this exposition, 
the focus of attention. The pulse of their union and separation is the 
archetype of the fusion and divergence of opposites, through the interplay 
of the elements constituting the cosmic order that takes place in harmony 
with their recurrent emergence and subsidence into the absolute. 
Although not discussed in these terms in Spanda literature, it finds 
a place here as a feature of monistic Saiva (as well as Sakta) metaphysics 
and its verbalization in these symbolic terms. The relationship between 
Sarikara and Spanda is in this way explained as that which exists 
between the absolute, as the power-holder, and its power. This relation- 

30 The Doctrine of Vibration 

ship is itself Spanda. 

Chapter Five discusses a subject which is clearly an element of 
original Spanda doctrine, namely, the Wheel of Energies (sakticakra) 
of which Sankara is both the source and master. This is a very important 
topic for Ksemaraja who comments extensively on the nature of the 
Wheel of Energies. He is motivated primarily by the intention to 
demonstrate (as was his teacher Abhinavagupta) that the most secret, 
and hence highest Saiva doctrine, is that of the cycle of powers 
as presented in the Krama tradition, particularly that of the Twelve 
Kalis (which Abhinava describes in his Light of the Tantras) 114 and 
that of VamesvarL The Wheel of Energies is in this way presented as 
the cycle of universal consciousness which expresses itself at the 
individual level as, and through, the powers of the senses. 

It follows that the next topic is the body of consciousness to which 
belongs the power of perception operating through the circle of the 
senses. Thus this is the subject of Chapter Six. The yogi and his 
experience have gradually come to the fore in the course of our exposition 
and it is this that concerns us primarily in the remaining portion of this 
work, just as it does Spanda doctrine. Thus we discuss two forms of 
contemplative absorption, which Ksemaraja says are the subject of 
the entire Spanda teachings, namely, that 'with the eyes closed' and 
that 'with the eyes open' (nimllana and unmllanasamadhi). Spanda 
doctrine equates the opening and closing of Siva's eyes (unmesa and 
nimesa) with His pulsation. It seems obvious to equate it also with the 
introverted and extroverted phases of the enlightened yogi's contem- 
plation who, one with Siva, similarly creates and destroys the world 
of his objectified perceptions by opening and closing his eyes in these 
two phases of contemplation. Even so, only Ksemaraja actually makes 
this connection. In fact, these terms themselves are peculiar to his 
vocabulary. The concept is attested in the works of earlier authors, 
just as it is in the primary sources, but these terms, as such, are not 
previously found elsewhere, not even in Abhinavagupta's works. 
Thus, although Ksemaraja most likely derived these formats of represen- 
tation of yogic states from Krama sources, his application of these 
categories both fills them out and further contributes to Spanda 
doctrine. We therefore discuss them in this chapter because they are 
connected with the operation of the senses and with the yogi's experience 
of them in consonance with their authentic nature as the powers of 
consciousness operating in the field of its own manifestation. 

In Chapter Seven we discuss the nature of bondage and the means 
to liberation. Although our concern is primarily with Spanda practice, 
we present it here in terms of the system of classification of the means 

Introduction 31 

to liberation (upayd) described by Abhinavagupta. Abhinavagupta 
quotes the Malinlvijayottaratantra as his authority when defining 
the fundamental characteristics of these categories; 115 even so, there 
is no evidence to suggest that this system of classification is applied 
extensively, if at all, in the Agamas or elsewhere. On the other hand, 
it appears that he learnt it from Sambhunatha who taught him Trika 
doctrine. Thus instructed by the oral tradition, he went on to add 
it to the patrimony of literate Kashmiri Saivism. It is for this reason 
that we find no trace of it in any of the works that predate him. Even 
so, Ksemaraja considered that the three sections into which the Aphorisms 
of Siva are divided dealt separately with these three orders of practice 
and that the Spanda doctrine of the Stanzas could similarly be analysed 
in terms of these categories. We conclude this work, therefore, with 
an exposition of these categories in relation to Spanda practice and 
refer the reader to our translation and analysis of the Stanzas on Vibration 
for its specific features and further details. 

The Integral Monism of 
Kashmiri Saivism 

In India, metaphysics serves as a theoretical framework supporting 
a body of spiritual discipline; it is never merely abstract speculation. 
More than a reasoned opinion, it indicates the seeker's attitude to 
his own experience, an attitude that forms the path he treads to salvation. 
When the seeker acts upon the conclusions he has reached, philosophy 
blends imperceptibly into religion. To the degree in which he participates 
in this new attitude, death yields to immortality and the darkness of 
doubt and ignorance is banished by the light of spiritual illumination. 
Underpinning the quest is the ultimate goal: gnosis, which is not a 
knowledge of things but insight into their essential nature. Metaphysical 
insight is the pinnacle of knowledge. Long ago those who attained this 
absolute knowledge exclaimed: "no longer can anyone bring before 
us anything that we have not already found understood or known." 1 
It is essentially a state or experience of recognition. 

The ways to this realisation are various. We can tread the Path of 
Wisdom (jnanamarga) and seek to intuit the Real, illumined by its 
own brilliance, in the directness of (an essentially mystical) insight 
developed through meditative practice and disciplined reasoning 
(viveka). Another way is that of Devotion (bhaktimarga) to the 
embodiment of truth experienced with religious awe and wonder as 
Deity. A third way is to follow the Path of Yoga and seek freedom 
directly through mastery (aisvarya) of the Self and with it the All 
which it contains and governs. From the yogi's point of view this is 

34 The Doctrine of Vibration 

the most direct approach, for all paths tend towards this achievement. 
As Karl Potter remarks: 

The ultimate value recognised by classical Hinduism in its most 
sophisticated sources is not morality but freedom, not rational self- 
control in the interests of the community's welfare but complete control 
over one's environment — something which includes self-control but 
also involves control of others and even control of the physical sources 
of power in the universe. 2 

Freedom (svatantrya) in the sense of both autonomy (kaivalya) 
and mastery (aisvarya) is the goal. It can be attained only if we manage 
to rid ourselves of outer constraints and limitations. To do this we 
must be able to homologise with a single, all-embracing reality from 
which nothing is excluded — neither the world nor ourselves. The 
dualism of most devotional approaches, however tempered, understands 
reality in terms which preclude the possibility of ultimate release. If 
we are to attain salvation, reality can only be one and absolute. In the 
Hindu tradition the nature of this absolute has been understood in a 
wide variety of ways. Here we shall consider only two. One is embodied 
in the metaphysics of Kashmiri Saivism and the other in that of Advaita 

Advaita Vedanta emerged, to a large extent, as a critique of 
Samkhya dualism. Classical Samkhya posits two realities, both eternal 
but of contrary nature. One is Puru$a, 'the Person', the other Prakrti 
or 'Nature'. The Person is the Self who, as pure sentient consciousness, 
is the witness of the activity of all that lies in the sphere of objectivity. 
The latter includes not only the outer physical world but also the body 
and mind the Person inhabits, vitalising and illumining it with his 
conscious presence. Although varied and constantly changing, all 
that lies in the sphere of objectivity shares a common nature. All 
thoughts, perceptions or physical phenomena are equally part of the 
play of Nature — Prakrti — which manifests in this way to fulfil the need 
of the Person for phenomenal experience. In this experience the Person 
represents the principle of sentience and Nature that of change and 
activity. Just as insentient Nature cannot view itself, and so is as if blind, 
similarly the Person does not act or change, and so is as if lame. 3 The 
two together make experience possible. The content of this experience 
is real but unsatisfactory. The Person is bound by Nature; it experiences 
the changes in Nature as if they were its own and so suffers their painful 
consequences. The Person is freed when he discriminates between 
himself and Nature. The latter then retires into its original unmanifest 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 35 

state severing its association with the Person. 
Isvarakrsna explains: 

Just as a dancing girl retires from her dance after performing for 
the audience, in the same way Nature (Prakrti) retires after exhibiting 
herself to the Person. 4 

In this way the Person achieves a state of transcendental detachment 
(kaivalya). But because the Person is an independent reality, already 
separate from Nature, he can in fact neither be bound nor released. 

Therefore, no one is actually bound, no one released and no one 
transmigrates. [It is] Nature, the abode of diversity that transmigrates, 
is bound and released. 5 

Ultimately, bondage is unreal and no relationship is possible 
between an eternal subject and an equally eternal object. The problem 
is that they cannot be related to one another unless this relationship 
is also eternal. In order to preserve the transcendental integrity of the 
Person, the reality of Nature must be denied. Not only does the Advaita 
Vedanta do this, but it also denies that there is a plurality of Persons. 
The Self, each individual's most authentic identity, is beyond the 
specifications of the qualities of Nature, and so nothing can distinguish 
one 'self from another. The Self is one only and hence none other than 
the Brahman, the absolute, free of all specification. From this point of 
view the one reality can only be grasped through negation. 6 However, 
although this safeguards it from predication it also implies that the 
empirical (vyavahara) is itself a negation of absolute reality. As Ksemaraja 
puts it: "the Brahman is what the world is not." 7 And so the world 
is less than real. The Brahman is always empirically unmanifest 
(avyakta).* It is beyond the reach of the senses but, like the Person, 
is the witness (saksin) of all things. It can never be an object of knowledge 
for "who can know the knower?" 9 Ultimately it is that which cannot 
be grasped or perceived. The world which is 'grasped 1 and 'perceived* 
cannot be the Brahman and is consequently less than real. 

Absolute Being is not an existing quality to be found in things; 
it is not an object of thought or the result of production. It is that from 
which both speech and mind turn back, unable to comprehend its 
fullness. 10 To make this point Sarikara quotes a passage from a lost 
Upanisad in his commentary on the Brahmasutra. Baskali, an Upanisadic 
sage, is being questioned by his disciple about the nature of the absolute. 
He sits motionless and silent. "Teach me, sir/' prayed the disciple. 

36 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The teacher continued to be silent. When addressed a second and third 
time he said: "I am teaching, but you do not follow. The Self is silence." 1 1 

The undetermined and unthinkable character of the Brahman 
is a consequence of the absolutes's eternal and immutable nature. 12 
To concede the existence of a real universe is, from the Vedantin's point 
of view, 13 to posit the existence of a reality apart from the Brahman. 
Nor can we simply identify a real universe with the absolute unless 
we are prepared to compromise its unchanging, absolute status. The 
criterion of authenticity is immutability. Reality never changes; only 
that which is less than real can appear to do so. Reality is constant 
in the midst of change. What this means essentially is that there is 
change although nothing changes. This impossible situation is reflected 
in the ultimate impossibility of change itself. That which does not 
exist prior to its changing and at the end, after it has changed, must be 
equally non-existent between these two moments. Although the world 
of change appears to be real, it cannot be so. 14 Change, according to 
the Vedantin, presupposes a loss of identity. Reality cannot suffer 
transformation; if it were to do so, it would become something else 
and the real would be deprived of its reality. The immortal can never 
become mortal, nor can the mortal become immortal. The ultimate 
nature of anything cannot change. 15 Change of any sort is merely 
apparent (vivarta); the world of change and becoming is a false super- 
imposition (adhyaropa, adhyasa) on the absolute. 16 

In cosmic terms, the mistake (bhranti) consists of the supposition 
that the real Brahman is the unreal universe and the unreal universe 
is the real Brahman. In microcosmic terms, it is the mistake of falsely 
conceiving the body, mind or even one's personality to be the Self. 
In the same way as the image of a snake is falsely superimposed on a 
rope, similarly the universe is falsely projected onto the real substratum, 
the Brahman. Ignorance is not merely a personal lack of knowledge, 
but a cosmic principle. As such it is called "Maya," the undefinable 
factor (anirvacaniya) that brings this mistake in identity about. The 
reality status of this cosmic illusion is also undefinable: on the one hand 
it is not Brahman, the sole reality; on the other hand it is not absolutely 
non-existent like a hare's horn or the son of a barren woman. 

Brahman is the source of world appearances only in the sense of 
being their unconditioned ground or essential nature. The universe 
is false not because it has no nature of its own but because it does have one. 
Just as the illusion of a snake disappears when one sees that it is nothing 
but a rope, similarly cancellation (badha) of the empirically real occurs 
when the absolute reality of the Brahman is realised. Thus, according 
to Vedanta, appearance implies the real, while the real need not imply 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 37 

appearance. To appear is essentially to appear in place of the real, 
but to be real is not necessarily to appear. All things -exist because the 
absolute exists. It is their Being. Thus the very existence of phenomena 
implies their non-existence as independent realities. When they are 
known to be as they are, in the fullest sense of their existence, their 
phenomenal nature disappears leaving the ground of Being naked and 
accessible. This approach was validated by a critique of experience. 
The Vedanta established that space, time and the other primary categories 
of our daily experience can have no absolute existence. It was therefore 
necessary to make a distinction between a relative truth — that accepted 
by the precritical common man — and an absolute truth discovered 
at a higher level of consciousness. 

The Saiva absolutist 17 rejects any theory that maintains that the 
universe is less than real. From his point of view a doctrine of two 
truths, one absolute and the other relative, endangers the very foundation 
of monism. The Kashmiri Saiva approach is integral: 18 everything is 
given a place in the economy of the whole. It is equally wrong to say 
that reality is either one or diverse. Those who do so fail to grasp the 
true nature of things which is neither as well as both. 19 

"We, do not" says Abhinavagupta, "base our contention that 
[reality] is one because of the contradictions inherent in saying that it 
is dual. It is your approach {paksa) that accepts this [method]. [While], 
if [duality and oneness] were in fact [to contradict each other], they 
would clearly be two [distinct realities]." 20 

The Vedantin, who maintains that non-duality is the true nature 
of the absolute by rejecting duality as only provisionally real, is ultimately 
landed in a dualism between the real and illusory by the foolishness 
of his own excessive sophistry (vacafadurvidya). Oneness is better 
understood as the coextensive unity (ekarasa) of both duality and unity. 21 
They are equally expressions of the absolute. 22 As Gopinath Kaviraj says: 

According to Sarikara, Brahman is truth and Maya is inexplicable 
(anirvacaniya). Hence the [Advaitin's] endeavour to demonstrate the 
superiority of Advaita philosophy is turned against his own system. 
It tarnishes the picture of its philosophical perfection and profundity. 
He cannot accept Maya to be a reality, therefore his non-dualism is 
exclusive. The whole system is based on renunciation and elimination 
and thus is not all-embracing .... By accepting Maya to be Brahman 
(brahmamayi), eternal (nitya) and real (satyarupa), Brahman and Maya 
[in the Tantra] become one and coextensive. 23 

38 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The Vedantin seeks to preserve the integrity of the absolute by 
safeguarding it from all possible predication. The Saiva 24 defends the 
absolute status of the absolute by ensuring that it is in every way self- 
subsistent (svatantra) and all-embracing (purna). The integral nature 
of the absolute allows for the existence of the world of objectively 
perceivable phenomena along with the pure subjectivity of consciousness. 
The two represent opposite polarities of a single reality. Of these two, 
objectivity is insignificant (tuccha) with respect to the ultimacy 
(paramarthatva) of the subject. 25 It is the sphere of negation, in which 
objectivity presents itself as a void (sunya) in relation to the fullness 
of the subject. 26 Thus it appears in some Kashmiri Saiva works that 
objectivity is said to be false with respect to the ultimate reality of 
absolute consciousness. 27 What is meant, however, is that nothing 
can exist apart from the absolute; not merely in the sense that only the 
absolute exists, but also that nothing exists separated from it. All 
things are as if nothing in themselves apart from the absolute in this 
sense alone — it does not mean that they do not exist. 28 The world, in 
other words, represents a level of manifestation within the absolute 
which in the process of its emanation must, at a certain stage, radically 
contrast one aspect of its nature with another to appear as the duality 
and multiplicity of manifestation. 29 The One is not any one thing because 
it is all things; 30 excluding nothing from its omniformity, it cannot be 
defined in any other way than as the Supremely Real (paramartha). 

The Real is, from this point of view, the All (nikhila). It is the pure 
absolute because nothing stands outside it which can in any way qualify 
its absoluteness; on this point at least, Saiva and Vedantin are in 
agreement. It is the Saiva's approach to establishing the absoluteness 
of the absolute which differs from the Vedanta. The Saiva method is 
one of an ever widening inclusion of phenomena mistakenly thought 
to be outside the absolute. The Vedantin, on the other hand, seeks to 
understand the nature of the absolute by excluding (nisedha) every 
element of experience which does not conform to the criterion of 
absoluteness, until all that remains is the unqualified Brahman. The 
Saiva 's approach is one of affirmation and the Vedantin's one of negation. 
They arrive at the absolute from opposite directions. The Vedantin's 
way is a path of renunciation founded on dispassion (vairagya) born 
of discrimination (viveka) between the absolutely real and the provision- 
ally relative. It is only when all attachment^ and, ultimately, perception 
and thought of the illusory world of phenomena — Maya — have been 
abandoned, that the true nature of the absolute is realised to be as it 
really is, that is, free of all phenomenality. The realisation of the true 
nature of the relative accompanies the realisation of the absolute. 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 39 

It is to realise that the world never existed, just as it does not at present, 
nor ever will. 31 It is just a magic show. 

One could say that in this approach the field of consciousness is 
increasingly restricted to exclude the 'unreal' and focus on the real. 
It is the Way of Transcendence, and we progress along it by denying 
all ultimate significance to the transitory. The doctrine is one of world 
denial. Thus Gautfapada, Sarikara's teacher, says: 

Constantly reflecting that everything is full of misery, (sarvam duhkham) 
one should withdraw the mind from the pleasures nurtured by desire. 
Recalling constantly that the birthless Brahman is all things, one no 
longer perceives creation. 32 

The Advaitic path leads to a freedom 'from'. Desire is denied because 
it individualises attention, dispersing it among the objects of desire 
which are defined as impure matter and ultimately unreal as opposed 
to the absolute, which is spirit and reality itself. Freedom is ignorance 
of 'matter-unreality'; conversely, ignorance of the spirit is equivalent 
to knowledge of matter. These correspond to: 

A) A knowledge of qualities and conditions through acts of 
determining knowledge (vikalpa). 

B) A direct experience (saksatkara) of the unqualified (nirguna) 
free of determinate perception (nirvikalpa). 

Case A implies a contrast between subject and object, which is 
unreal or illusory; case B implies the disappearance of the subject-object 
distinction by denying the reality of the object, and thus expresses the 
real state of affairs. A and B are not really opposites because A is unreal; 
consequently the contrast between A and B comes under category A 
and so is illusory. In other words, our spiritual ignorance (avidya) 
consists of the false conception that there is a real relationship between 
the finite and the infinite. Herein we find the philosophical justification 
for an attitude of detachment. The relationless absolute is realised 
by the elimination of the finite. 

The New Way (navamarga) 33 taught in Kashmiri Saiva doctrine 
is transcendence through active participation. Not freedom 'from', 
but freedom *to\ Desire is not denied, but accepted at a higher level 
as the pure will or freedom (svatantrya) of the absolute. Desire is to be 
eliminated only if it is desire 'for' (akdriksa), rather than desire 'to' (iccha). 
Matter cannot sully the absolute, nor is it unreal. Freedom is achieved 
by knowing 'matter-unreality' completely; ignorance of the spirit is 

40 The Doctrine of Vibration 

ignorance of the true nature of matter. From this point of view ignorance 
is failure to experience directly the intimate connection (sambandha) 
between the infinite and the finite, thus justifying an active participation 
in the infinite-finite continuum. Following this New Way the transition 
from the finite to the infinite does not require that we postulate any 
ontological distinction between them. The finite is a symbol of the 
infinite. The infinite stamps its seal (mudra) onto its own nature replete 
with all possible forms of the finite. 34 This is the transcendental attitude 
of the absolute, namely its impending manifestation as the finite. Reality 
is the state of eternal emergence (satatodita) of the finite from the 
infinite and vice versa. Expansion of the relative distinction {bheda) 
between the elements constituting the All is equivalent to contraction 
of the undivided (abheda) awareness of its totality and vice versa. 
Neither excludes the other, but together they participate in the all- 
embracing fullness (purnatd) of the pulsation (spanda) of the absolute 
in its different phases of being. True knowledge (sadvidya) from this 
point of view, is to know that the apparent opposites normally contrasted 
with one another, such as subject and object, unity and diversity, absolute 
and relative, are aspects of the one reality. 

The Vedantin's way is one of withdrawal from the finite in order 
to achieve a return (nivrtti) to the infinite. This process, however, from 
the Saiva point of view is only the first stage. The next stage is the 
outward journey (pravrtti) from the infinite to the finite. When perfection 
is achieved in both movements, that is, from the finite to the infinite and 
back, man participates in the universal vibration of the absolute and 
shares in its essential freedom. Thenceforth, he no longer travels "to" 
and 'from' but eternally 'through' the absolute, realised to be at once 
both infinite and finite. 35 The highest level of dispassion (paravairagya) 
is not attained by turning a\>ay from appearance but by realising that 
the absolute manifests as all things. 36 The absolute freely makes diversity 
{bheda) manifest through its infinite power. The wise know that this 
power pours into the completeness of the All (visvamandald) and in 
so doing, flows only into itself. 37 Standing at the summit of Being 
(parakdsfha) the absolute is brimming over with phenomena. The 
streams of cosmic manifestation flow everywhere from it as does water 
from a tank full to overflowing. 38 Replenished inwardly by its own 
power, it emerges spontaneously as the universe, and makes manifest 
each part of the cosmic totality as one with its own nature. 39 

The involution of phenomena and their reassimilation into the 
absolute is not enough. True knowledge and perfect dispassion can 
only be achieved when we realise that the universe is the expansion 
(vikdsa) of the absolute void of content (sunyarupa). 40 The absolute will 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 4 1 

(iccha) is the driving force behind this cosmic expansion. It is the pure 
intent of Being to act and exist which although, in a sense, is similar 
to mundane desire is unsullied by any object of its intent {isyamana) 41 and 
so differs fundamentally from it. The absolute yearns for nothing other 
than itself. Desire is not to be abandoned but elevated to the level of 
this pure will (icchamatra). This is achieved not by restraint or suppression 
of desire, but by merging it with the divine creative will of the absolute. 
This is the spontaneity of the Way of Wholeness. Quotes Jayaratha: 

Those who went before said that [desire] is checked by the practice 
of dispassion; we teach that this is achieved by desisting from all effort. 42 

The absolute oscillates between a 'passion' (raga) to create and 
'dispassion' (viraga) from the created. This is the eternal pulsation — 
Spanda — of the absolute. Through it the absolute transforms itself 
into all things and then returns back into the emptiness (sunya) of its 
undifferentiated nature. Both poles of this movement are equally real; 
both are equally absolute. Allowing for the reality of manifestation, 
the Saiva absolute is called the Great Oneness (mahddvaya). 4 * An 
experienced music lover, hearing a fast sequence of notes played on 
the vina can distinguish whether the microtones are high or low. 44 
Similarly the well-practiced yogi can discern the unity of reality while 
phenomena are manifest to him. If duality and unity were in fact 
absolute contraries, the moment they appeared together, they would 
cancel each other out. This, however, is not the case. We continue to 
experience the diversity of daily life (vyavahara). 45 The Vedantin who 
distinguishes between duality and unity, saying that the former is false 
while the latter is true, is under the spell of Maya — the ignorance he 
seeks so hard to overcome. All forms of relative distinction, even that 
between the dual and the non-dual, are due to Maya; none of them are 
applicable to the uncreated, self-existent reality, free of all limitation. 46 
Abhinava writes: 

Where duality, unity and both unity and duality are equally manifest 
is said to be [true] unity. To those who object that in that case diversity 
(bheda) must also exist, [we say:] so be it: we do not want to speak 
overmuch. We neither shun nor accept [anything] that [manifests to us] 
here [in ihis world] as you do. If you wish to be supported by the view 
tha^ .. ^urs all then resort to the doctrine of Supreme Unity, the 
great refuge you should adopt. 47 

The one reality is manifest both as unity and diversity. There can 

42 The Doctrine of Vibration 

be no real unity unless diverse elements are united in the wholeness 
of totality. On the other hand, without unity, diversity would be 
unintelligible. A total dispersion of elements does not constitute 
diversity but a number of single, unrelated units. 48 Just as everything 
that falls into a salt mine becomes salty, so all this diversity, grounded 
in unity, shares in the single flavour of oneness. 49 There is an undeniable 
difference between individual phenomena, but the distinction we 
perceive between two entities which leads us to think that one differs 
from the other is merely external. 50 Relative distinction is not an inherent 
quality of things that can divide their innate nature, not because this 
division (bheda) is in any way unreal, but because it operates within 
the domain of the real, which appears as phenomenally manifest. 
Division (bheda) is merely the relative distinction between two manifest 
entities; it is based on the difference between their manifest form. 

"Relative distinction between two realities (tattva)" writes 
Abhinava, "is not impossible. This is the doctrine of Supreme Unity 
in which relative distinction is neither shunned nor accepted. While 
there is [an external] difference between phenomena, there is none 
[inwardly], established as they are in their own essential nature." 51 

Reality is the One (eka) which becomes manifest as the many (bahu). 
Universal Being moves between two poles, viz., diversification of the 
one and unification of the many. Thought (vikalpa) interferes with 
our direct intuitive understanding of this fact and splits up the two 
aspects of this movement into separate categories. Reality is a structured 
whole consisting of a graded hierarchy (taratamya) of metaphysical 
principles corresponding to the planes of existence (dasa). On the lowest 
planes up to the level of Maya, we experience division (bheda) between 
objects and ourselves; at the highest level we reach the plane of unity 
(abheda) which pervades and contains within itself all the others. 
Mahesvarananda writes: 

We maintain that the basis of duality (bheda) in the [empirical] 
universe is a phase (vibhaga) [of reality]! The separation between things 
is certainly not adventitious (upadhi) for then they [i.e., the object and 
its separatedness] being two, unity would stand contradicted. 52 

He goes on to say: 

The various categories of existence {padartha), though distinct 
from one another in their [outer form] must be, in terms of their essential 
specific nature, a single collective reality. 53 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 43 

This understanding of reality allows for a range of insights into 
its nature which complement and sustain each other without conflict. 
Almost every school of Indian thought aspires to lead us to a plane of 
being and an experience which it believes to be the most complete and 
satisfying. This is the liberation it offers. All these views are correct 
insofar as they correspond to an actual experience. But this is because 
the absolute, through its inherent power, assumes the form of all the 
levels of realisation (bhumika) which correspond to the ultimate view 
(sthiti) each system upholds. 54 Dualism is not an incorrect view of 
reality although it corresponds to only one of the levels within the absolute. 

Citing the well-known Jaina example, Abhinava explains that the 
exponents of different systems are like blind men who, presented with 
an elephant, touch one part or another and argue amongst themselves 
about what it could be. This is not because they disagree completely 
but because their agreement is only partial. 55 Ultimately, differing 
views of reality are the result of the capacity (sakti) of the absolute to 
appear in different forms. 56 Rather than reject all views as incorrect 
because they are not completely true, the Kashmiri Saiva prefers to 
accept them all because they are partially true. System builders are all 
equally concerned with reality, but are like children of feeble intellect 
{sukumaramati) who have not yet reached the supreme summit 
(parakdsfhd) of the absolute, the experience of Supreme Oneness. 
They cannot, as yet, look down to the lower planes and see their role 
within the whole. Accordingly Mahesvarananda says: 

Not accepting each others' point of view they talk of Your universal 
nature in terms of that which is to be refuted and that which refutes it 
in order to reject [their] opponents' position. 57 

Why does this phasing or hierarchy of planes not divide the absolute? 
The answer to this question will emerge through a closer examination 
of the nature of the Saiva absolute. Saivism equates the absolute wholly 
with consciousness. Reality is pure consciousness alone (samvid). 
Consciousness and Being are synonymous. 58 To experience the essential 
identity between them is to enjoy the bliss (dnanda) of realisation. 59 
The Advaita Vedantin maintains that in a primary sense reality cannot 
be characterised in any particular way, but affirms that secondarily 
we can conceive it to be 'Being-Consciousness-Bliss (saccidananda). 
Being, understood as an absolute substance (which is not substantial 
in a material sense), is the model for the Advaita conception of conscious- 
ness. Monistic Saivism, on the other hand, considers consciousness to 
be the basic model through which we understand Being. Consciousness 

44 The Doctrine of Vibration 

from the Vedantirfs point of view is the microcosmic parallel of macro- 
cosmic Being. Being is the real substratum of the universe and conscious- 
ness that of the individual personality (jiva). Hence consciousness, 
like Being, is perfectly inactive, a pure noetic plenum: knowledge as 
such, without an object of knowledge or even self-awareness. He 
maintains that consciousness is autonomous; it is an eternal reality 
that does not depend on the mind or body for its existence. On this point, 
the Saivite and Vedantin agree. Abhinava pours scorn on materialist 
views; making no pretence at politeness, he says, 

Some fools consider that nothing apart from the body exists 
because movement arises from the body, whose property is conscious- 
ness, which in its turn is one with the vital breath. This conception, 
peculiar to individuals (of low status) such as children, women and 
idiots is, by the materialists, elevated to the status of a system. 60 

The concept of consciousness is the firm foundation upon which 
Kashmiri Saiva metaphysics is constructed. One could almost describe 
it as a psychology of absolute consciousness. Consciousness is more than 
the awareness an individual has of himself and his environment; it is 
an eternal all-pervasive principle. It is the highest reality (paramartha) 
and all things are a manifestation of this consciousness (cidvyakti). 61 
All entities, without distinction, are of the nature of consciousness 02 
and hence reality can be positively affirmed to be a 'compact mass of 
consciousness and bliss' (cidanandaghana). There are no holes or gaps 
anywhere in reality where consciousness is absent. It is eternally and 
blissfully at rest within its own nature (svatmavisranta), free of all 
association with anything outside itself. 63 Free of all craving for 
anything (nirakanksa) and independent (nirapeksa), it looks to none 
other but itself (ananyamukhapreksiri). 

The essential nature (svabhava) of this pure universal consciousness 
is the true nature of the Self. As the supreme subject who illumines and 
knows all things, it is called the 'Great Light' (mahaprakasa) which is 
uncreated and can never be taught (asrauta). Figuratively described as 
the sun of consciousness, its light absorbs duality in its brilliance, 
bathing the whole universe with the splendour of its divine radiance. 
Making all things one with its nature, it transforms them into the sacred 
circle (mandala) of its own rays. 64 Not only is consciousness absolute, 
it is also divine. It is Siva, the Lord (cinnatha) of the universe. 65 As the 
authentic identity (atmari) of all living beings, consciousness is the 
supreme object of worship, the true nature of Deity. 66 Consciousness 
is God and God is consciousness by virtue of its very nature; omnipotence, 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 45 

omniscience and all the other divine attributes are in fact attributes 
of consciousness. Bhagavatotpala, commenting on the Stanzas on 
Vibration, quotes: 

In none of Your states [O Lord] is consciousness absent. Therefore. 
You are worshipped as the yogi's dense mass of consciousness alone. 67 

Consciousness is not a passive witness (saksiri), but is full of the 
conscious activity (citikriya) through which it generates the universe 68 
and reabsorbs it into itself at the end of each cycle of creation. The 
freedom {svatantrya) of consciousness to do this is its sovereign power 
(aisvarya) by virtue of which it is the one God Who governs the entire 
universe. Absolute freedom to know and do all things is the primary 
characteristic of Deity: 

The governing power of the Supreme Lord Whose nature is 
His own unique eternal nature as pure agency {kartrta) whose essence 
is the divine pulsing radiance {sphuratta) of the light of consciousness. 69 

Both dynamic and creative, this divine power is Spanda — the 
vibration of consciousness. Its universal activity is the basis of Siva's 
divine sovereign status. Indeed, Spanda is Siva's most essential nature 
for without it He would not be God. As Ksemaraja says: 

Thus God (bhagavat) is always the Spanda principle with its 
dependent categories - He is not motionless (aspanda) as those who 
say, 'the supreme reality is perfectly inactive {aspanda)'. If that were so, 
His nature would be a self-confined stasis {santasvarupa) and so He 
would not be God at all. 70 

The supreme reality which is 'perfectly inactive' is like the Vedantin's 
Brahman. Although the Vedantin says that k God alone is the source of 
all things', 71 Brahman cannot be a creator God (isvara) for His supposed 
creation is unreal. A creator implies that His creation is a separate reality 
and this would contravene the fundamental principles on which Advaita 
Vedanta bases its concept of non-duality. Accordingly, Sarikara says: 

God's rulership, omniscience and omnipotence are contingent to 
limiting adjuncts conjured up by nescience: in reality such terms as ruler 
and ruled, omniscience etc., cannot be used with regard to the Self 
shining in its own nature. 72 

46 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Kashmiri Saivism, on the contrary, believes in a personal absolute 
God Who is the one reality (isvaradvayavada). The planes within the 
absolute correspond to a hierarchy of deities which rule over them, 
empowered to do so by the Supreme Deity: consciousness. Absolute 
Deity is the highest level of consciousness which stands at the supreme 
summit of Being (parakasfha). It is attained by a process of ascent 
through higher levels or, in other words, through increasingly expanded 
states of consciousness, until we reach the highest and most complete 
state of expansion possible (pumavikasa). The Supreme Lord rests 
at the end of the expansion or evolution of objectivity from the lowest 
level to the supramental state (unmana) of pure consciousness. 73 

This supreme state is named variously in the differing traditions 
syncretised into Kashmiri Saivism. Thus Bhairava (the 'wrathful' form 
of Siva) figures as the supreme God in Abhinavagupta's works when 
he deals with the doctrine and ritual of the Kaula schools (including 
Trika and Krama) and those in various ways linked to them. This male 
principle is associated with corresponding female ones such as Kali, 
KalasankarsinI (the 'Attractress of Time'), Matrsadbhava (the 'Essence 
of Subjectivity') and Para (the 'Supreme'). In the Spanda school the 
supreme male deity is Siva Who is also called Saiikara, while Spanda 
is by some identified with the Goddess. When no sectarian distinctions 
are intended, the supreme is simply called Paramesvara (the Supreme 
Lord), Paramasiva or just Siva. 74 

Saiva Idealism 

Interiority (antaratva) is the keynote of both Kashmiri Saiva 
metaphysics and practice: it is a 'doctrine which maintains that everything 
is internal' {antararthavada). 15 Everything, according to this view, 
resides within one absolute consciousness. It is the great abode of the 
universe. 76 Full (puma) of all things, it sustains them all and embraces 
them within its infinite, all-pervasive nature. Utpaladeva writes: 

O Lord, some, greatly troubled, move perplexed {bhramanti) within 
themselves while others, well established [in themselves], wander in 
that which is their own Self alone. 77 

All events are consciously experienced happenings. According to 
Somananda, only that which hypothetically exists outside consciousness 
can be said to be non-existent (avastu) and hence false. Daily life carried 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 47 

on without knowledge that everything is manifest within consciousness 
is illusory or unreal in that sense alone. 78 Things are more real or more 
tangibly experienced according to their own essential nature (svabhava) 
to the degree in which we recognise that they are appearances (abhasa) 
within absolute consciousness. As Jayaratha says: 

Just as images manifest in a mirror, for example, are essentially 
mere appearances, so too are [phenomena] manifest within conscious- 
ness. Thus, beause they are external, [phenomena] have no being (sattva) 
of their own. The Lord says this [not with the intention of saying 
anything about the nature of things] but in order to raise the level of 
consciousness of those people who are attached to outer things; thus 
everything in this sense is essentially a mere appearance. [Knowing this], 
in order to quell the delusion of duality, one should not be attached to 
anything external. 79 

The ultimate experience is the realisation that everything is contained 
within consciousness. We can discover this in two ways. Either we merge 
the external world into the inner subject, or we look upon the outer as a 
gross form of the inner. In these two ways we come to recognise that 
all things reside within our own consciousness just as consciousness 
resides within them. 

This all-embracing inwardness is only possible if there is an essential 
identity between the universe and consciousness. The events which 
constitute the universe are always internal events happening within 
consciousness because their essential nature is consciousness itself. 80 
We can only account for the fact that things appear if there is an essential 
identity between consciousness and the object perceived. 81 If a physical 
object were really totally material, that is, part of a reality independent 
of, and external to, consciousness, it could never be experienced. 82 
Abhinava says: 

The existence or non-existence of phenomena within the domain 
of the empirical (iha) cannot be established unless they rest within 
consciousness. In fact, phenomena which rest within consciousness 
are apparent (prakasamana). And the fact of their appearing is itself 
their oneness {abheda) with consciousness because consciousness is 
nothing but the fact of appearing {prakasa). If one were to say that they 
were separate from the light of [that consciousness] and that they 
appeared [it would be tantamount to saying that] 'blue' is separate from 
its own nature. However, [insofar as it appears and is known as such] 
one says: 'this is blue 1 . Thus, in this sense, [phenomena] rest in conscious- 
ness; they are not separate from consciousness. 83 

48 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The universe and consciousness are two aspects of the whole, just 
as quality and substance constitute two aspects of a single entity. The 
universe is an attribute (dharma) of consciousness which bears (dharmiri) 
it as its substance. 

It is said that 'substance' is that resting in which this entire group 
of categories manifests and is made effective. Now, if you don't get angry 
[we insist that] this entire class of worlds, entities, elements and categories 
(tattva) rests in consciousness and [resting in it] is as it is. 84 

Thus consciousness contains everything in the sense that it is the 
ground or basis (adhard) of all things, their very being (satta) and 
substance from which they are made. But, unlike the Brahman of the 
Advaita Vedanta, it is not the real basis (adhisthand) of an unreal 
projection or illusion. Consciousness and its contents are essentially 
identical and equally real. They are two forms of the same reality. 
Consciousness is both the substratum and what it supports: The perceiving 
awareness and its object. 85 In this respect, the Kashmiri Saiva is frankly 
and without reserve an idealist. Although he does not deny the reality 
of the object, his position is at odds with most commonly accepted 
forms of realism. The realist maintains that the content perceived is 
independent of the act of perception. The content is only accidentally 
an object of perception and undergoes no change in the process of being 
perceived. His contention, however, is essentially unverifiable; to verify 
it, we would have to know an object without perceiving it. This, from the 
Kashmiri Saiva point of view, is not possible. Objects of which we have 
no knowledge may indeed exist, but they are knowable as objects only 
if they are related to subjects who perceive them. In this sense, if there 
were no subjects, there could be no objects. 86 The subject, however, as 
opposed to the object is, in terms of the phenomenology of perception, 
apparent to himself. He is self-luminous (svaprakdsa). Thus, conscious- 
ness (the essence of subjectivity) is one s own awareness by virtue of which 
all things exist. 87 

The realist maintains that consciousness clearly differs from its object 
insofar as their properties are contrary to each other. The Saivite idealist. 
however, says that the object is a form of awareness (vijnanakara)™ 
The objective status of the object is cognition itself. 89 Perception 
manifests its object and renders it immediately apparent (sphuta) to those 
who perceive it. 90 It does not appear at any other time. 91 If 'blue' were 
to exist apart from the cognition of k blue\ two things would appear: 
'blue' and its cognition, which is not the case. 92 It is the perception of 
the object which constitutes its manifest nature. An entity becomes an 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 49 

object of knowledge not by virtue of the entity itself but by our knowledge 
of it. If objects had the property of making other objects appear, it 
would be possible for one object to make another appear in its own 
likeness. 'Blue' is perceived to be 'blue' because it is manifest as such 
to the perceiver. 93 As Abhinava points out: 

The [nature of an] object of knowledge could not be established 
through a means of knowledge totally unrelated to it — a crow does not 
become white because a swan [sitting next to it] is white. 94 

Perception, on the other hand, is immediately apparent to conscious- 
ness. It is self-luminous in the sense that it is directly known without 
need of being known by any ulterior acts of perception and makes its 
object known at the same time. 95 Adopting the Buddhist Yogacara 
doctrine that things necessarily perceived together are the same (sahopa- 
lambhaniyamavada), the Saivite affirms that because the perceived is 
never found apart from perception, they are in fact identical. 96 Reality 
(satya) is the point where the intelligible and the sensible meet in the 
common unity of being; it cannot be said to exist in itself outside, and apart 
from, knowledge or vision. Bhagavatotpala in his commentary on the 
Stanzas on Vibration quotes: 

Once the object is reduced to its authentic nature, one knows [the 
true nature of] consciousness. What then [remains of] objectivity? 
What [indeed could be] higher than consciousness? 97 

Consciousness is essentially active. Full of the vibration of its own 
energy engaged in the act of perception, it manifests itself externally 
as its own object. When the act of perception is over, consciousness 
reabsorbs the object and turns in on itself to resume its undifferentiated 
inner nature. 98 

Knowledge (jnana) manifests internally and externally as each 
individual entity .... Once knowledge has assumed that form it falls 
back [into itself]. 99 

The Yogacara Buddhist similarly maintains that consciousness 
creates its own forms. But, according to him, because the perceived and 
perception are identical, there is no perceived object at all. The so-called 
outer world is merely a flux of cognitions, it is not real. He is firmly 
committed to a doctrine of illusion. The reality of consciousness from 

50 The Doctrine of Vibration 

his point of view is established by proving the unreality of the universe. 

"All this consists of the act of consciousness alone", says Vasubandhu, 
"because unreal entities appear, just as a man with defective vision sees 
unreal hair or a moon, etc.". 100 

He points to dreams as examples of purely subjective constructs 
which appear to be objective realities. The apparent reality dreams 
possess is not derived from any concrete, objective world, but merely 
from the idea of objectivity. While the Yogacara does not say that an 
idea has, for example, spatial attributes, it does have a form manifesting 
them. While he agrees with the Saiva idealist that appearances have no 
independent existence apart from their appearing to consciousness, 
he maintains that for this reason they are unreal. The creativity of 
consciousness consists in its diversification in many modes having 
apparent externality; it is not a creation of objects. 

While the Kashmiri Saivite agrees that the world is pure conscious- 
ness alone, he maintains that it is such because it is a real creation of 
consciousness. The effect is essentially identical with the cause and 
shares in its reality. Matter and the entire universe are absolutely real, 
as 'congealed' (sty ana) or 'contracted' (samkucita) forms of consciousness. 
"This God of consciousness", writes Ksemaraja, "generates the universe 
and its form is a condensation of His own essence (rasa)" m By boiling 
sugarcane juice it condenses to form treacle, brown sugar and candy 
which retains its sweetness. Similarly, consciousness abides unchanged 
even though it assumes the concrete material form of the five gross 
elements. 102 The same reality thus abides equally in gross and subtle 
forms. 103 Consequently no object is totally insentient. Even stones bear 
a trace (vasana) of consciousness, although it is not clearly apparent 
because it is not associated with the vital breath (prana) and other 
components of a psycho-physical organism. 104 Somananda goes so 
far as to affirm that physical objects, far from being insentient, can 
only exist insofar as they are aware of themselves as existing. 105 The 
jar performs its function because it knows itself to be its agent. 106 Indeed, 
all things are pervaded by consciousness and at one with it and hence 
share in its omniscience. 107 Thus, Siva, Who perceives Himself in the 
form of physical objects, is the one ultimate reality. 108 

"The jar knows because it is of my nature", writes Somananda, 
"and I know it because I am of the jar's nature. I know because I am of 
Sadasiva's nature and He knows because He is of my nature; Yajnadatta 
[knows] because he is of Siva's nature and Siva [knows] because He 
is of Yajnadatta's nature". 109 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 5 1 

Everything in this sense is directly perceived by absolute conscious- 
ness, and this direct perception (pratyaksa) unifies the knowable into 
a single, undivided whole. This is the central concept behind a doctrine 
originally expounded by Narasimha called 'the non-dualism of direct 
perception' (pratyaksadvaita). 110 This states that consciousness is 
essentially perceptive and that its perception of all things operates 
throughout the universe. 111 Insofar as phenomena are clearly evident 
(sphufa) to us, everything is directly perceived by absolute consciousness, 
with which our individual consciousness is identical. This direct 
perception unfolds everywhere; the one true reality, it is alone and 
without companion or rival (nihsapatna). Even though it remains one, 
it can, by its very nature, perceive distinctions (bheda) between one 
entity and another, without this engendering any division within it. 112 

We distinguish between two entities in empirical terms on the 
basis of their mutual exclusion (anyonyabhava). The relative distinction 
{bheda) between them is essentially the perceived difference between 
their respective characteristics. Despite this difference they are united 
within the purview of a single cognition insofar as they are equally 
both manifest appearances. This cognition is the undivided essence 
(rasa) or 'own nature' (svabhava) of both. Encompassed by the 'fire of 
consciousness', there is no essential difference between them. Just 
as when an emerald and ruby reflect each other's light, the ruby is 
reddish-green and the emerald greenish-red, similarly everything is 
connected with everything else as part of the single variegated (vicitra) 
cognition of absolute consciousness. 113 Mahesvarananda writes: 

The Supreme Lord's unique state of emotivity (asadharanabhava) 
is the outpouring of pure Being (mahasatta). It is manifest as the 
brilliance (sphuratta) of the universe which, if we ponder deeply, [is 
realized to be] the single flavour (ekarasa) of the essence of Beauty 
which is the vibration of the bliss of one's own nature. 114 

In this way all things are in reality one although divided from the 
one another sharing as they do the 'single flavour' (ekarasa) of the pure 
vibration of consciousness. 

Kashmiri Saiva Realism 

Kashmiri Saivism as a whole has been variously called a form of 
'realistic idealism', 115 'monistic idealism', 116 'idealistic monism' 117 and 
'concrete monism'. 118 It is easy to understand why Kashmiri Saivism is 

52 The Doctrine of Vibration 

said to be 'idealistic' and 'monistic', but in what sense is it also 'realistic*? 
The answer to this question is of no small importance in trying to under- 
stand the central idea behind its metaphysics and the fundamental 
importance of the concept of Spanda, in this seemingly impossible 
marriage between monistic idealism and pluralistic realism. 

The Kashmiri Saiva approach understands the world to be a symbol 
of the absolute, that is, as the manner in which it presents itself to us. 
Again we can contrast this view with that of the Advaita Vedanta. The 
Advaita Vedanta understands the world to be an expression of the 
absolute insofar as it exists by virtue of the absolute's Being. Being is 
understood to be the real unity which underlies empirically manifest 
separateness and as such is never empirically manifest. It is only 
transcendentally actual as 'being-in-itself. The Kashmiri Saiva position 
represents, in a sense, a reversal of this point of view. The nature of 
the absolute, and also that of Being, is conceived as an eternal becoming 
(satatodita), a dynamic flux or Spanda, 119 'the agency of the act of 
being'. 120 It is identified with the concrete actuality of the fact of 
appearing, not passive unmanifest Being. Appearance (abhasa) alone 
is real. 121 Appearing (prakasamanatva) is equivalent to the fact of being 
(astitva). 122 Ksemaraja writes in his commentary on the Stanzas on 

Indeed, all things are manifest because they are nothing but 
manifestation. The point being that nothing is manifest apart from 
manifestation. 123 

The absolutely unmanifest, from this point of view, can have as 
little existence as the space in a lattice window of a sky-palace. Nay, 
even less, because even that space can appear as an imagined image 
manifest within consciousness. 124 Everything is real according to the 
manner in which it appears. 125 Even an illusion is in this sense real, 
insofar as it appears and is known in the manner in which it appears. 
The empirical and the real are identical categories of thought. As 
Abhinava says: 

Thus this is the supreme doctrine (upanisatf), namely that, when- 
ever and in whatever form [an entity] appears, that then is its particular 
nature. 126 

Perhaps at this stage a brief comparison with Heidegger's ideas 
might prove to be enlightening and not altogether out of place. According 
to Heidegger's phenomenology of Being, reality is intelligible in a two-fold 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 53 

manner as 'phenomenon' and 'logos'. Heidegger defines what he means 
by 'phenomenon' as: "that-which-shows-itself. The manifest . . . 
phenomena are then the collection of that which lies open in broad 
daylight or can be brought to the light of day — what the Greeks at times 
implicitly identified as 'ta onta' (the things-which-are)". 127 In his later 
writings Heidegger drops the term 'phenomenon' in preference for 
the verbal form 'phainesthai' in order to emphasize even more the 
actuality or presentational property of Being. Explaining this new form 
of the term he writes: "Being disclosed itself to the ancient Greeks as 
'physis'. The etymological roots 'phy-' and 'pha-' designate the same 
thing: 'phyein', the rising-up or upsurge which resides within itself as 
'phainesthai', lighting-up, self-showing, coming-out, appearing-forth." 128 

Heidegger contrasted his notion of phenomenon with semblance 
(Schein) and with appearing (Erscheinung). In the case of semblance a 
thing can show itself as that which it is not, as when fool's gold shows 
itself to be gold. The ancients always allied semblance with non-being. 
Heidegger points out, however, that semblances are grounded in showings, 
and so does Abhinava. Both Heidegger and Abhinava consequently 
maintain that all semblances have a real basis and are to be treated as 
instances of phenomena along with the so-called real showing or 
manifestation of non-deceptive objects. So Heidegger states that: 'how- 
ever much seeming, just that much being'. 129 Thus self-showing or 
appearing defines Being as phenomenon, but this definition of Being 
is as yet incomplete. Being is not only self-showing but 'logos' which 
Heidegger explains means 'discourse' (Rede) in the sense of 'apophansis': 
'letting-be-seen'. Phenomenology, which according to Heidegger is 
the only correct study of Being, means 'letting-be-seen-that-which- 
shows-itself . This is true of Saiva Paramadvaita as well. 

The reality of the world demands recognition; we are forced to 
accept the direct presentation of the fact of our daily experience. As 
Abhinava says: "if practical life, which is useful to all persons at all times, 
places and conditions were not real, then there would be nothing left 
which could be said to be real." 130 A thousand proofs could not make 
'blue' other than the colour blue. 131 The reality of whatever appears in 
consciousness cannot be denied. Objects appear; they do not cease to 
do so by a mere emphatic denial. 132 The manifestation of an entity 
in its own specific form is a fact at one level of consciousness; it is real. 
The appearing of the same entity in the same form but recognised to be a 
direct representation of the absolute is also a fact, but at another level 
of consciousness. 133 It is no more or less real than the first. 'As is the 
state of consciousness, so is the experience,' says Abhinava. 134 Although 
the nature of the absolute is discovered at a higher level of consciousness, 

54 The Doctrine of Vibration 

nonetheless it presents itself to us directly in the specific form in which 
we perceive things; otherwise there would be no way in which we could 
penetrate from the level of appearing to that of its source and basis. 
Abhinava writes: 

Real is the entity iyastu) that appears in the moment of direct 
perception (sak$atkara), that is to say, within our experience of it. 
Once its own specific form has been clearly determined one should, 
with effort, induce it to penetrate into its pure conscious nature. 135 

All things are known to be just as they present themselves. The 
concrete actuality of being known (pramiti), irrespective of content, 
is itself the vibrant (spanda) actuality of the absolute. Liberating 
knowledge is gained not by going beyond appearances but by attending 
closely to them. "The secret," Mahesvarananda says, "is that liberation 
while alive (jivanmukti) is the profound contemplation of Maya's 
nature." 136 No ontological distinction can be drawn between the absolute 
and its manifestations because both are an appearing (dbhasa), the latter 
of diversity and the former of 'the true light of consciousness which is 
beyond Maya and is the category Siva'. 137 

Those who have attained the category of Pure Knowledge above 
Maya and have thus gone beyond the category of Maya, see the entire 
universe as the light of consciousness . . . Just as the markings [on a 
feather] are nothing apart from the feather, the feather [is nothing apart 
from] them, similarly, when the light of consciousness is manifest, the 
whole group of phenomena is manifest as the light of consciousness 
itself. 138 

Within the sphere of Maya, every entity's 'own nature' (svabhdva) 
corresponds to its specific manifest form. Accordingly it is defined as 
that which distinguishes it from all else and from which it never deviates. 139 
Above the sphere of Maya, that is, above the level of objectivity, is the 
domain of the subject. At this level, everything is realised to be part 
of the fullness of the experience r 140 and hence no longer bound by the 
conditions which impinge on the object. Here the part is discovered 
to be the whole, that is, consciousness in toto. In this sphere beyond 
relative distinctions, the yogi realises that (all) the categories of existence 
are present in every single category. m The yogi experiences every 
individual particular as the sum total of everything else. He recognises 
that all things have one nature and that every particular is all things. 142 
This is the 'essence' (sard) or co-extensive unity (samarasya) of all things. 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 55 

We have established that reality is manifest according to how 
[and the degree in which] the freedom of consciousness reveals it and 
that [this freedom] is the womb of all forms. Just as 'sweetness' is present 
in its entirety in every atom of the sugarcane, so each and every atom 
[of the universe] bears within itself the emanation of all things. 143 

This is the level of consciousness in which the absolute reflects on 
itself realising to its eternal delight and astonishment (camatkara) its 
own integral nature. 144 The reality of the world of diversity is not denied, 
but experienced in a new mode of awareness free of time and space in 
the eternal omnipresence of the Here and Now. 

[Phenomenal forms of awareness] such as 'this [exists]', born of 
the colouring [imparted to the absolute] by the limitations engendered 
by the diversifying power of time {kalakalana) also emanate within the 
Supreme Principle. There [at that level], Fullness {purriata) is the one 
nature [of all things] and so everything is omnipresent; otherwise, 
associated with division (khancjlana), the Fullness [of the absolute] 
would not be full. 145 

The content of absolute consciousness consists of diverse appearings 
(abhdsa) which, because they are manifest through it in this way, do 
not compromise the wholeness of consciousness. Everything we perceive 
is a momentary collocation of a number of such manifestations which 
combine together like 4 a row of altar lamps' (dipavalT) to form the single 
radiant picture of the universe. The individual objects which constitute 
the universe are specific collocations of such 'atomic' appearings. Together 
they form a single unified particular which appears according to its own 
defining features (svalaksand). A jar, for example, consists of a number 
of appearances such as 'round', 4 fat\ 'earthen', 'red', etc., which together 
discharge a single function (arthakriya), in this case, that of carrying the 
appearance 'water'. They unite with each other much as the scattered 
rays of a lamp come together when focused, or as the various currents 
of the sea together give rise to waves. 146 Atomic appearings can combine 
in any number of ways, provided that they are not contrary to one another 
as established by the dictates of natural law (niyati). An appearance 
of 'form', for example, cannot combine with that of 'air'. 147 

Insofar as they share a common basis (samanyadhikaranya), a 
given cluster of appearances appears as a single whole. This common 
basis is the most prominent member of the group; the appearance 'jar' 
is such in the example quoted above. Any one appearance in a cluster 
may assume a more important or subordinate role. The result is a specific 

56 The Doctrine of Vibration 

awareness of an object of the form: 'here this is such.' 148 While individual 
appearances do not lose their separate identity {svarupabheda) when 
they rest on a common basis, even so the particular object which appears 
according to its own characteristics (svalak$ana) is an individual reality 
in its own right. It is a different kind of appearance characterised by 
its association with the appearance of the specific location and time in 
which it is made manifest. 149 The form of our experience is thus 'I now 
see this here'. 150 But when we perceive each particular constituent 
appearance separately, each assumes a separate fixed function. Abhinava 
cites the following colourful example to illustrate how the various 
combinations of appearances account for the variety of experience: 

Thus even though the appearance of the beloved may manifest 
externally, it is as if far away in the absence of another appearance, 
namely, that of 'embracing'. So when the [appearing of the beloved] 
is associated with another appearance [namely that of 'far away'] the 
power (arthakriya) it formerly had of giving pleasure appears as its 
contrary. 1 51 

The form our experience assumes depends, not only on the nature 
of the object perceived, but also on personal factors entirely peculiar to 
ourselves. This theory explains this in two ways. In one sense, the object 
remains the same, but one or other of its constituent appearances comes 
to the fore according to the inclinations of the perceiver. From another 
point of view, we can say that the perceived object is different for each 
perceiver according to the difference in the prominent appearance 
manifest to him. Abhinava, citing as an example a golden jar, illustrates 
how the same object appears differently to different perceivers according 
to the use they wish to make of it and to their state of mind: 

When a person who is depressed and feels that there is nothing 
[of value for him in the world] sees the jar, he merely perceives the 
appearance 'exists' [in the form of the awareness that] 'it is\ He is not 
conscious of any other [of its constituent appearances] at all. An 
individual who desires to fetch water [perceives] the appearance 'jar'. 
The man who simply wants something that can be taken somewhere 
and then brought back, [perceives] the appearance 'thing'. The man 
who desires money [perceives] the appearance 'gold'. The man who 
desires a pleasing object [perceives] the appearance 'brightness' while 
he who wants something solid sees the appearance 'hardness'. 152 

These 'atomic events' or appearances emerge from the pure subject's 
consciousness and combine together to form a total event at each moment. 

Integral Monism of Kashmiri Saivism 57 

Daily life (vyavahara) goes on by virtue of this ever renewed flux of 
appearances. 153 They are connected together and work towards a single 
unified experience because they appear within the field of consciousness 
of the universal subject. 

The aggregate of appearances arises in the [supreme] subject as 
do [sprouts in] a rice field. Even though each sprout germinates from 
its own seed, they are perceived as a collective whole. 154 

Appearances rest in this way within the universal subject. 'External- 
ity' is itself another appearance; 155 it arises from a distinction between 
appearances and the individual subject. 156 So, although all manifestation 
always occurs within the subject, it appears to be external due to the 
power of Maya 157 which separates the individual subject from his 
object. This split must occur for daily life to be possible. Only externally 
manifest appearances can perform their functions; when they are merged 
within the subject and at one with him, they cannot do so. 158 Daily 
life proceeds on the basis of the operation and withdrawal of the conditions 
necessary for fruitful action to be possible. Appearance in this sense 
represents the actualisation of a potential hidden in consciousness made 
possible by virtue of its dynamic, Spanda nature which is both the flow 
from inner to outer and back as well as the power that impels it. The 
emergence from, and submergence into, pure consciousness of each 
individual appearance is a particular pulsation (visesaspanda) of 
differentiated awareness. Together these individual pulsations constitute 
the universal pulse (samanyaspandd) of cosmic creation and destruction. 
Thus, every single thing in this way forms a part of the radiant vibration 
{sphuratta, sphurana) of the light of absolute consciousness. 


Light and Awareness: The Two 
Aspects of Consciousness 

Absolute consciousness understood as the unchanging ontological 
ground of all appearing is termed 'Prakasa'. As the creative awareness 
of its own Being, the absolute is called ' Vimarsa '. Prakasa and Vimarsa — 
the Divine Light of consciousness and the reflective awareness this 
Light has of its own nature — together constitute the all-embracing fullness 
(purnata) of consciousness. The Recognition (pratyabhijfia) school of 
Kashmiri Saivism develops this concept of the absolute which finds its 
fullest expression in Utpaladeva's Stanzas on the Recognition of God. 
Even though neither of these two key terms appear in the Stanzas on 
Vibration or the Aphorisms of Siva, they recur frequently in their 
commentaries. Thus, although the original formulation of the Doctrine 
of Vibration differs from the theology of Recognition in this respect, 
it was extended in the course of its development to accommodate this 
concept of the absolute as well. This was possible, and quite justified, 
insofar as the absolute understood in Pratyabhijfia terms does not, 
as we shall see, differ essentially from that of the Spanda school. We can, 
as Kashmiri Saivites themselves have done, explain one in terms of 
the other. 

60 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Prakasa: The Light of Consciousness 

Prakasa is the pure luminosity' (bhdna) or 'self-showing' that 
constitutes the essence and ultimate identity (atman) of phenomena. 1 
That things appear at all is due to the light of consciousness, and their 
appearing (avabhasana) is itself this Light which bestows on all things 
their evident, manifest nature. 2 Established in the light of consciousness 
everything appears there according to its own specific nature (svabhava). 
Anything that supposedly does not rest in this Light is as unreal as a 
sky-flower. 3 Thus, according to Rajanaka Rama, unlike the light of 
the sun, or any other light, this Light not only makes all things apparent, 
it is also their ultimate source. 4 Full of its divine vibration the Light 
makes all things manifest and withdraws them into itself. This supra- 
temporal activity characterises it most specifically; devoid of it, it would 
be no better than an inert physical phenomenon. 5 At the same time, 
this light is the conjunction (slesa) or oneness (aikdtmya) of its countless 
manifest forms, 6 and the collective whole (sampina'ana) of all the 
categories of existence. 7 The universe is nothing but the shining of 
the Light within itself. It is the radiant vibration (sphuratta) of this 
Light, the state (avast hand) in which consciousness becomes manifest. 8 

Although the Light shines as all things at all times and hence also 
makes their diversity manifest, 9 penetrating each object individually 
as well as collectively, it is not totally 'merged' (magna) or identified 
with the object so as to suffer any division within itself. 10 Our experience 
of any object is of the form: T see this': it is not itself an object, but the 
manifest form the object assumes as a luminous principle of experience. 11 
The Light is ever revealed and can never be obscured; objectivity can 
never cast a shadow on the light of consciousness. 12 The Stanzas on 
Vibration declare: 

That in which all this creation is established and from whence it 
arises is nowhere obstructed because it is unconditioned by [its very] 
nature. 13 

This Light is the highest reality (paramartha). It is the 'Ancient 
Light' (puranaprakasa) that makes all things new and fresh every 
moment. 14 It is 'always new and secret, ancient and known to all'. 15 
It is the form of the Present (vartamanarupa), the Eternal Now. Time 
and space are relations between the contents of consciousness; they 
cannot impinge on the integrity of the absolute itself. 16 Neither space 
nor time can divide it, for they are one with the Light that illumines them 

Light and Awareness: Two Aspects of Consciousness 61 

and makes them known as elements of experience. But this Light is 
the shining of the absolute, it is not an impersonal principle. It is the 
living Light of God, indeed it is God Himself, 17 the Master Who instructs 
the entire universe. 18 Siva is this 'auspicious lamp', Who illumines 
all things. 19 He is the Light of consciousness that reveals the presence 
of both the real and the unreal, of light' and 'darkness'. 20 Abhinavagupta 

Thus Bhairava, the Light, is self-evident (svatahsiddha); without 
beginning, He is the first and last of all things, the Eternal Present. 
And so what else can be said of Him? The unfolding of the categories 
of existence (tattva) and creation, which are the expansion of His own 
Self, He illumines, luminous with His own Light, in identity with 
Himself, and because He illumines Himself, so too He reflects on His 
own nature, without His wonder (camatkara) being in any way 
diminished. 21 

The Kashmiri Saiva concept of consciousness is clearly more akin 
in the West to the Christian mystic's understanding of the nature of 
Deity than to that of consciousness as conceived by most western 
psychologists and philosophers of mind. Dionysius the Aeropagite talks 
of God, in the passage cited below, in much the same terms as the 
Kashmiri Saivite would about the light of absolute consciousness. 

[God] being One communicates His unity into every part of the 
world and also unto the Whole, both unto that which is one and that 
which is many. He is One and unchangeable in a superessential manner 
being neither a multiplicity of things, nor yet the sum total of such 
units .... He is a unity in a manner far different from this ... He is 
indivisible plurality, insatiable, yet brimful, producing, perfecting 
and maintaining all unity and plurality. 22 

The central mystical experience of enlightenment is aptly symbolised 
by light in most of the numerous forms of mysticism; Deity and all that 
surrounds the higher reaches of existence are universally symbolised by 
light. The vision of Light is one of the most characteristic features of 
higher mystical experiences. When the Kashmiri Saiva talks of Deity 
or Realty as Light, he is trying to express his direct experience of the 
Real; this is more important to the mystic than any concept of reality. 
The yogi's concern is realisation, not philosophical speculation or 
theological discussion. 

If the mystic is to traverse the boundary between the transitory and 

62 The Doctrine of Vibration 

the eternal, he must die to the profane condition. He must depart from 
a world devoid of light to be reborn into the higher, sacred state of 
enlightenment, into a world he recognises to be full of light. The result 
is an increase in consciousness; that is, the previous condition is augmented 
by formerly unconscious contents. The new condition carries with it 
more insight, which is symbolised by more light. It is a vision of the 
world radiant with the light and life of the divine reality within all 
things, and yet beyond them. The most profoundly satisfying experience 
possible is the recognition that the light of one's own consciousness 
is all things. 

"[This] Bliss", writes Abhinava, "is not like the intoxication of 
wine or that of riches, nor similar to union with the beloved. The 
manifestation of the light of consciousness is not like the ray of light 
from a lamp, sun or moon. When one frees oneself from accumulated 
multiplicity, the state of bliss is like that of putting down a burden; 
the manifestation of the Light is like the acquiring of a lost treasure, 
the domain of universal non-duality." 23 

This is the central experience upon which the Kashmiri Saiva 
bases his understanding of the nature of reality. In the transition from 
experience (mysticism) to a concept of reality (metaphysics), we can 
only carry with us ideas symbolic of the original experience. Philosophy, 
from this point of view, can only serve a descriptive function. It is a 
'systematic symbolism' which serves primarily to generate insight into 
the nature of reality by a process of elevating the philosopher's power 
of recognition (pratyabhijna), allowing him to couple the concept 
with the experience which lies behind it. 

Philosophy is an elaboration of different kinds of spiritual 
experiences. The abstractions of high-grade metaphysics are based 
on spiritual experience and derive their whole value from the experiences 
they symbolise. No metaphysical concept is entirely intelligible without 
reference to the spirit. 24 

Light (prakasa), Sound (nada), Vibration (spanda), Taste (rasa) 
and a host of others all serve this symbolic function in this universe of 
discourse. Amongst these, Light (prakasa) and Vibration (spanda) 
feature prominently. Light symbolism helps us to grasp the inner 
relationship between things understood as integral parts of the absolute 
in static juxtaposition and mutual interpenetration. Vibration (spanda) 
symbolism serves to represent the dynamic, self-regenerative character 

Light and Awareness: Two Aspects of Consciousness 63 

of the absolute. It symbolises the active participation of the infinite 
in the finite as the process of its transformation into the finite and the 
reconversion of the finite into the infinite. Space is the model for the 
former and time for the latter. Light aptly symbolises an absolute 
conceived as a pure noetic plenum. The absolute is called 'Light' because 
it is the universal knowledge of the supreme subject which makes the 
entire knowable manifest. 25 It represents consciousness as the unchanging 
witness of all the events in the universe, the power of the absolute to 
know the universe (jnanasakti) merged within it: 

We bow to Siva Who eternally illumines by the lamp of the power 
of his knowledge the many objects lying in the Great Cave of Maya. 26 

In the cognitive sphere, the dynamic character of the light of 
consciousness is represented by the flux of cognitions. This is the 
pulsation — Spanda — of its noetic activity (jnanatmikakriya) of which 
it is itself the conscious agent (kartr) as well as perceiver. Knowledge 
cannot exist independently of the knower. 27 The object is grounded in 
knowledge and knowledge in the subject which thus connects them 
together like a powerful glue. 28 Ultimately, these three are identical: 

Nothing perceived is independent of perception and perception 
differs not from the perceiver, therefore the universe is nothing but the 
perceiver [himself]. 29 

The one universal consciousness, therefore, has three aspects: it 
is the illuminator (prakasaka), the illumined universe (prakasya) and 
the light of knowledge (prakasa) which illumines it. The universe, 
Light and Self are one. 30 Subject, object and means of knowledge 
necessarily attend each act of perception and make cognitive awareness 
(prama) possible. Manifested by the creative power (srsfisakti) of the 
Great Light, 31 they are always present together whenever anything 
is perceived objectively, and so embrace, as it were, the entire universe 
in their nature: 32 

The group of subjects, the various means of knowledge, the multiple 
kinds of knowledge and the objects of knowledge — all this is conscious- 
ness alone. The Supreme Goddess is the absolute freedom of our own 
consciousness which assumes these various forms. 33 

When they are made manifest, the universe appears within the 
field of universal consciousness. When they cease to operate, and the 

64 The Doctrine of Vibration 

tension between subject and object is resolved again into their primordial 
unity, the universe is again withdrawn into undifferentiated consciousness. 
Thus the devout yogi addresses the divine Light with the words: 

Your playful desire is the cause of the diversity between the 
perceiver, perceiving, perception and perceptible; when Your playful 
desire is over, that diversity disappears somewhere. Seldom does 
man realise this. 34 

As aspects of the dynamic consciousness (caitanya) which is Siva's 
freedom to act as the agent of cognition, 35 they are phases of His vibration 
(spanda). This movement of conscious energy, incandescent with the 
light of consciousness, generates cognitions that appear as manifestations 
(abhasa) of consciousness within it. Thus, taken together as a single 
whole, they are the inner light of the innate nature of all things (svarupa- 
jyotis). ib United, they are the supreme subject (parapramatr) identified 
with the state of pure awareness (pramitibhavd) that constitutes their 
essence. This higher subject is Paramasiva Who assumes these three 
aspects through a process of self-limitation (samkoca), all the while 
continuing to exist as the undifferentiated unity of pure consciousness. 37 

As aspects of the light of consciousness, these three are appropriately 
symbolised as three great luminaries, namely, the Fire, Sun and Moon. 38 
The means of knowledge, like the Sun, illumines the object. The object 
shines, like the Moon, by its reflected light. Again, like the moon, 
according to the common Indian way of thinking, it exudes nectar in the 
sense that the object delights the senses. 39 Fire aptly symbolises the 
subject because fire is said to have three abodes, as ordinary fire on 
earth, as lightning in the sky and the god of fire in heaven. The subject 
too is three-fold as the object, the means of knowledge and the subject 
itself. Moreover the subject, like fire, flames upwards, consuming all 
things within the pervasive field of its consciousness, ultimately digesting 
them within itself when perception is over and he rests tranquil. 

Even though the light of consciousness experiences all three, it does 
not require another to be perceived, but illumines itself in the course 
of making the universe manifest. Consciousness is the ultimate principle 
of revelation. The Light that reveals everything does not require a 
second for its own revelation. 40 If consciousness were not self-conscious 
but required another consciousness to reveal its nature, that too would 
require another and the third a fourth and so on ad infinitum. 41 

This Light, as we have seen, unfolds or expands (prasarati) every- 
where, shining this way and that as each particular aspect of our 
experience. Siva does this by creating and freely imposing on Himself 

Light and Awareness: Two Aspects of Consciousness 65 

countless limiting conditions (upadhi) through which He becomes 
manifest in limited forms, just as a light shining through a lattice window 
appears diverse. At the same time He abides unchanged as the supreme 
experiencer. Rajanaka Rama in his commentary on the Stanzas on 
Vibration writes: 

If we could anywhere, at any time, or in any way conceive of You 
apart from [universal] manifestation, then we could say that Your 
diversity (vicitrata) is due to the diverse limiting conditions {upadhi) 
[that reflect Your light] like outer crystal. 42 

The formless, pervasive nature of consciousness makes it possible 
for objects to be related to each other. The Light (prakasa) does not 
exhaust itself as the luminosity of the outer object, for although every 
object is separate from every other, it is not totally unrelated to other 
objects. We do in fact experience a variety of objects in a single act 
of perception. 43 This is only possible if the light of consciousness is 
fundamentally one and the same for each object. Even so, the Kashmiri 
Saiva denies that consciousness is a formless (nirakara), undivided 
reality, set apart from the object it perceives. We know from our own 
experience that consciousness does not view all things equally; some 
objects are more clearly apparent than others. 44 Moreover, if the Light 
(prakasa) were to be one and entirely homogeneous, there would be no 
difference between the knowledge of 'blue' and that of 'yellow'. 45 Objects 
would become confused with one another and the world of perceptions 
would collapse into a chaos (samkara). 46 How could the same Light 
by virtue of which we know 'blue 1 to be 'blue', illumine 'yellow' so that 
we know it to be 'yellow', if consciousness were in no way affected by 
the object perceived? 47 The way we experience things is therefore only 
explicable if we agree that the Light which illumines them is somehow 
both formless and omniform at the same time. 

We can explain how consciousness can have these two aspects only 
if we admit that it is free to be both single and diverse. 48 It cannot be 
just one or the other for then we would have to posit the existence of a 
second reality to make up for the deficiency of one or other of these two 
aspects. Indeed, we cannot say that the Light is either single or diverse 
for that would imply a division (bheda) within it. 49 One way for solving 
this problem, without recourse to some form of dualism, is to say 
that unity alone is real and that diversity is merely apparent. All that 
exists is consciousness which seems to assume diverse forms. This 
is the Advaitin's view. 

We can, however, approach this problem in a different way through 

66 The Doctrine of Vibration 

a deeper understanding of the properties of consciousness. The light 
of consciousness is absolute and hence free of the limitations inherent 
in all that is relative. This freedom from limitations characterises the 
Light most specifically. 50 It is by virtue of this freedom that it is not 
bound to a single fixed form, as are common objects. 51 Vibrant with 
life, the Light assumes countless forms. Pure consciousness is equivalent 
to absolute freedom. A lifeless unconscious object, on the contrary, 
is hemmed in on every side by spatial and temporal limitations. Unlike 
the light of consciousness, it is not free to be other than the form in 
which it appears to be. 

According to the dualist Samkhya consciousness is always formless. 
It is matter that assumes diverse forms although it remains substantially 
the same, as does the clay from which pots of different sizes and shape 
are fashioned. This cannot be correct, says the Kashmiri Saiva, because 
matter, however subtle we may conceive it to be, is objective and, as 
such, cannot be both one and diverse. Our experience testifies to the 
fact that 'the states of unity and division are distinct in all objective 
phenomena'. 52 But as Abhinava writes: 

Both characteristics, unity and diversity, are found in that which 
does not fall to the level of an object but which, because it is conscious- 
ness, is the supremely real Light. It has only one characteristic, namely, 
consciousness which is the perfect medium of reflection (svaccha). 
This is what experience tells us. 53 

The experience we all have to which Abhinava is alluding in this 
passage is that we perceive various objects in the scan of one perception 
without it being divided. The same holds true of the universal perception 
absolute consciousness has of the universe. Accordingly, the Light of 
Siva's consciousness is symbolically conceived to be an infinite, perfectly 
polished (svaccha) mirror within which the entire universe is reflected. 
In this way the Kashmiri Saiva explains how the one conscious reality 
can at once be immanent and transcendent without this either com- 
promising its unity or denying the reality of the manifest universe. 
Abhinava quotes a Tantra as saying: 

Deity is both formless and omniform, pervading all things both 
moving and immobile, as does water or a mirror [the image reflected 
in it]. 54 

Consciousness, like a mirror, can reflect objects within itself. It 
has the power to manifest entities that are separate from it as if they 

Light and Awareness: Two Aspects of Consciousness 67 

were one with it, without this in any way affecting its nature. 55 Conversely, 
it also makes manifest these reflected images as if they were distinct 
from it although they are not. 56 Again, the variety of manifest forms 
(abhasa) appear separate from one another, without this compromising 
the oneness of consciousness, just as happens with the reflections in a 
mirror. 57 However, in one respect at least, the mirror analogy does not 
hold good. Reflections in a mirror correspond to outer objects; this 
is not the case with consciousness. The All (visva) is entirely a reflection 
(pratibimbamatra). 5 * From the point of view of consciousness, the 
original object is as much a reflection as the image reflected in the mirror. 
Although the universe is like a reflection, there is no object outside the 
mirror of consciousness that, reflected within it, appears as the universe. 
Abhinava points out: 

The image reflected [in a mirror] is deposited [there] by the original 
external object. Now, if this too is a reflected image, what remains 
of the original object? 59 

The object apprehended by the senses cannot be the original object 
because the perception of the object is never immediate; it occurs through 
a series of causes. 60 The perception of the object is real enough, but it 
is always perceived as a reflection within the mind and senses. An outer 
world may indeed exist, but the form in which it appears is always as a 
reflection, never as the original object. An opponent may object that 
no reflection can exist without an original reflected object. Abhinava 
replies that this is true of reflections in a mirror but not of those within 
consciousness. Anyway, even in the case of a mirror, the object is 
never one with the reflected image. 61 Nor are they one in the way that a 
particular can be said to be one with its universal. 62 Moreover, when 
we perceive a reflection in a mirror, we do not perceive the original 
object at the same time. The cognition of one follows the other; they 
are not simultaneous. Similarly, we hear an echo when the original 
sound has ceased, 63 and we can perceive a shadow without seeing the 
hand that makes it. 64 The bashful maiden can secretly view the charming 
form of her lover standing behind her, reflected in a mirror without 
having to IoGk at him directly. 65 Thus Abhinava prefers to cut short 
all argument and boldly state: 

If then, even though [the universe] clearly bears the characteristics 
[of a reflected image], you still insist on calling it the original object 
(bimba), go ahead. The wise attend to the facts, not to commonly 
accepted convention. 66 

68 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The only way to account for the appearing of this cosmic reflection 
is to accept that consciousness itself creates it spontaneously. Conscious- 
ness is free (svatantra) to be 4 the agent of the act of manifestation'. 67 
Consciousness in this sense is the cause of both the original object and 
its reflection. 68 Otherwise, if this were not the case, we would be forced 
to seek another reality apart from consciousness which deposits these 
reflections within it; 69 as this is impossible, nothing would appear at all. 
Abhinava concludes: 

The truth is therefore this: the Supreme Lord manifests freely 
{anargala) all the varied play of emissions and absorptions in the sky 
of His own nature. 70 

The creation of reflections within the mirror of consciousness is 
spontaneous, like play. In the Spanda tradition, Ksemaraja personifies 
the power of consciousness that plays the game of manifestation as the 
Goddess Spanda. Consciousness is the fecund womb from which all 
things are born and in which they ultimately unite to rest blissfully. 71 
The Goddess is therefore not just the power of consciousness that 
generates the cosmic reflection, but is also the mirror in which it appears. 
Thus it is the Goddess Spanda Who is: 

the Lord's power of freedom that, although undivided, 

displays on the screen of Her own nature all the cycles of creation and 
destruction. [She reflects them within Herself] in such a way that 
although they are at one with Her, they appear to be separate from 
Her, like a city reflected in a mirror .... Therefore, the Supreme Being 
is always one with the Spanda principle and never otherwise. 72 

The vibration of consciousness is manifest as the forms which 
emerge within it. In the mental, subjective sphere, these include thoughts, 
memories and cognitions; in the objective sphere objects, universals 
and words — none of which could exist if consciousness did not have 
the power to generate them. Thus our exposition of the Kashmiri Saiva 
concept of the absolute as Light and its manifestations as reflections 
has led us to consider its universal power apparent through its recurring 
pulsations of activity. This same power both generates forms within 
itself and is conscious of them. Therefore, this, the absolute's power of 
self-awareness, to which we now turn, is also Spanda — its vibration. 

Light and Awareness: Two Aspects of Consciousness 69 

Self-Awareness and Consciousness 

As we have seen, the absolute is the light of consciousness (prakasa) 
because it makes all things manifest by shining in its universal form. 
The phenomena that appear in the field of consciousness are experienced 
directly in this way at the initial instant of perception when they are 
still at one with the perceiving subject. The light of consciousness is itself 
this direct experience 73 had before thought-constructs interpose them- 
selves between subject and object, thus degrading the latter to the level 
of objectivity, which obscures the light of the subject's immediate 
perception. But although the light of consciousness accounts for the 
appearing of phenomena in this way, it does not by itself fully account 
for our experience of them. No experience is possible without self- 
awareness. Experience must be personal to be experience at all. As 
Jung suggests: 

Experience is not possible without reflection, because experience 
is a process of assimilation without which there could be no under- 
standing. 74 

From the Kashmiri Saivite point of view, this reflection is an 
awareness of the images that appear within the mirror of the Light. 
For the psycho-cosmic processes occurring at the level of universal 
consciousness (samvid) to be accessible to experience, consciousness 
must reflect (literally fc bend back') on itself to know itself and what 
appears within it: 

The Supreme Lord bears within Himself the reflection of the 
universe and the [reflection] is His nature as all things. Nor is He 
unconscious of His nature as such because that which is conscious 
necessarily reflects on itself. 75 

This act of reflective awareness is termed 'vimarsa. The word is 
derived from the root 'mrs" which means to touch, feel, understand, 
perceive, reflect or examine. Thus 'vimarsa'is the power of consciousness 
by virtue of which it can understand or perceive itself, feel, reflect on 
and examine the events that occur within it — in short, behave like a 
limitless, living being. This ability to reflect on itself is inherent in the 
very nature of the light of consciousness; indeed it is its most specific 
characteristic 76 and the very life of its sentient nature. Deprived of 
reflective awareness, the light of consciousness would amount to no 

70 The Doctrine of Vibration 

more than the more appearing of phenomena unknown to anyone 77 
like the light that shines reflected in a common mirror or crystal. 78 

Through this awareness, the Light knows itself to be the sole reality 
and so rests in itself, but not as does a self-confined, lifeless object. 79 
It enjoys perfect freedom and is satisfied (caritdrtha) in the knowledge 
that it is all that exists, be it subject, object or means of knowledge. 80 
Self-awareness is God's omniscience, the fullness (purnatd) of all- 
embracing consciousness, its bliss (ananda) or aesthetic rapture 
(camatkara) that contains within itself the infinite variety of things. 81 
As such, it is the pulse of pure contemplation, the inner activity of the 
absolute's power of action (kriyasakti)* 2 in it all the powers of the 
absolute 83 merge to form its uncreated T consciousness (aham), whose 
radiant vibration (sphurana) is manifest as the form, emanation and 
reabsorption of the universe. 84 By contemplating its own nature, 
consciousness assumes the form of all the planes of existence from the 
subtlest to the most gross. 85 The power of reflection is thus the inherent 
creative freedom of the light of consciousness to either turn in on itself 
introspectively and be free of its outer forms, or move out of itself to 
view its outer manifestations. 86 In harmony with the oscillation of 
awareness between these polarities, the universe of manifestation is 
incessantly renewed and is the essence of the vitality of its pulsation. 87 
The vibration of awareness serves, in short, to account for the manifesta- 
tion of phenomena without either material cause or essential change in 
cor ;iousness, and distinguishes the Light as a primary, uncaused 
principle from its creations. 

Awareness is the oneness of the unlimited vision of the All. Lack 
of awareness results in incomplete vision and divides the All into parts, 
each separately seen as a specific 'this' (idam) contrasted and distinguished 
from all that it is not. Turning away from the unity of self-awareness, 
we become obsessed with the part and ignore the Whole. But when 
awareness rests in itself and contemplates its own nature, it sees itself 
as the pure subject that unfolds as the unity of all things. 88 This awareness 
(vimarsa) can therefore be said to have two aspects: 

Internal. This is the act of awareness when the light of consciousness 
rests in itself alone. It is the pure awareness of T (ahamvimarsa), devoid 
of all thought-constructs {nirvikalpa), said to be 'total freedom and 
unsullied wonder'. 89 

External. This aspect corresponds to the act of reflection directed away 
from the subject to the object he perceives as separate from himself. 
Reality then becomes accessible to discursive representation (vikalpa) 
and amenable to empirical definition. 

Light and Awareness: Two Aspects of Consciousness 71 

Awareness serves to relate objectivity with subjectivity in such a 
way that the object ultimately comes to rest in the self-awareness of the 
subject. In reality, reflective awareness is always awareness of T 
(ahamvimarsa); it never objectivises even when, in the form of the 
awareness of 'this* (idamvimarsd), it reflects upon the object. The 
experience we have of things existing outside consciousness is due to 
a lack of self-awareness. The awareness of the object is never 'out there'; 
it is registered and known within the subject. All forms of awareness 
come to rest in the subject: 

"Just as every drop of water comes to rest in the ocean, so all acts 
and cognitions [come to rest] in the Great Lord, the ocean of conscious- 
ness. Even a little water on the ground drunk by the sun's rays goes, 
as rain, to the great ocean. Similarly all knowledge and action in the 
universe merge in the ocean of Siva either spontaneously and evidently 
(sphutam), by itself or [indirectly] through a series of other [processes]." 90 

Individual and universal consciousness are one. The same processes 
operate in both; the only difference between them is that in the case of 
individual consciousness these processes are restricted or limited 
(samkucitd) representations of the maximally expanded (yikasitd) 
operation of universal consciousness. The activity of the mind is that 
of consciousness itself, or to be more precise, of its reflective awareness, 
the power of Spanda. 91 Thus, on the individual level, reflective awareness: 

Is the capacity of the Self to know itself in all its purity in the state 
of perfect freedom from all kinds of affections; to analyse all its states 
of varying affections, due either to the internal or the external causes; 
to retain these affections in the form of residual traces (samskara); 
to take out, at will, at any time, anything out of the existing stock of the 
sarpskaras and bring back an old affected state of itself as in the case 
of remembrance; to create an altogether new state of self-affection by 
making a judicious selection from the existing stock and displaying 
the material so selected on the background of the prakasa aspect as 
at the time of free imagination. 92 

Cognition would be impossible if consciousness were incapable 
of it. This capacity is the reflective awareness it has of itself as pure T 
consciousness. When it is conditioned by the object of knowledge, 
which is in its turn conditioned by the forces and laws that govern the 
physical universe (all of which are aspects of the power of Maya), it 
operates as cognition, memory and all the other functions of the mind. 93 
Cognition, in other words, is the reflective awareness of T limited by 
the affections imposed upon it by the variety of external manifestations 

72 The Doctrine of Vibration 

generated by this T consciousness itself. Freed from all association 
with outer objects, the individual shares in God's bliss, which is the 
experience He enjoys at rest in His own nature. 94 This blissful self- 
awareness (vimarsa) is the abiding condition of the subject even while 
he perceives the world and reacts to it. It is the inner activity of the 
Spanda principle, which is the inspired wonder (camatkara) of conscious- 
ness from which the powers of will, knowledge and action flow out as 
phases in its vibrating rhythm (spanda)* 5 

Normally, the individual subject fails to recognise the creative 
nature of this flow of awareness (jnanadhara) to and from the object 
in the act of cognition. He is unaware that he fashions from his own 
consciousness the various forms which populate his objective field of 
awareness. On the universal level of subjectivity, however, this movement 
from inner to outer and back is experienced within consciousness as 
the coming into being and destruction of the entire universe. Conse- 
quently, reflective awareness (vimarsa) is characterized as action 
(kriya) which is the flux of Becoming, while the Light (prakasa) is 
knowledge (jnana) or passive Being. 96 In other words, awareness is 
the creative act of making reality known, while the Light is the actuality 
of its being known. The latter without the former would be an inactive 
principle, a state of pure potential that could never actualize into an 
act of awareness. From this point of view the two aspects of awareness are: 

Karma Vimarsa. When the act of awareness is directed externally and 
coincides with the unfolding (vikasa) of the expansion of the universe 
(prapanca) out of the absolute. 

Kriya Vimarsa. When this activity is still unlimited and infinite, com- 
pletely internalized within the absolute as its agency (kartrtva), 
undisturbed by any goal of action (karya) as the pure vibration or stir 
(samrambha) of consciousness. 97 

The Saiva rejects the Vedantin's view that knowledge is incommen- 
surable with action. Knowledge and action together constitute the basis 
of daily life and the life of all living beings. 98 One is never without the 
other; they function hand in hand. At the universal level, the power of 
action evolves forms out of the pleroma of consciousness, while the 
power of knowledge makes them manifest. On the individual level, they 
represent the objective and subjective poles of all sentient activity. As 
the inner awareness that V I am' (aham), knowledge is the stable referent 
of all actions. It persists undivided throughout all action, however 
diverse. If it did not, then running, for example, would be impossible, 99 
nor would we be able to understand a sentence spoken in haste. 100 

Light and Awareness: Two Aspects of Consciousness 73 

While our own self-awareness (svasamvedanci) informs us of its existence, 
action, thus illumined by knowledge, is the awareness that T act 1 . 
Together they are the pure awareness of T (aharri) as the knowing and 
acting subjectivity which is the inner Spanda nature of consciousness. 

Awareness and the Integral Nature of the Absolute 

Although diverse elements may appear within consciousness, they 
must be distinguished from one another. Individual appearances share 
a common nature as appearances and so cannot divide themselves off 
from one another; otherwise the severed elements, disassociated from 
their essential nature, would not appear at all. 101 Established in its 
own undifferentiated (avisis(a) nature, the universe would not be a 
universe unless the light of consciousness itself differentiates the diverse 
forms it creates by its spontaneous shining. It does this by the various 
ways in which it reflects upon its own nature. Although the Light is 
always undivided on the lower level of Maya as well as on the higher 
level of pure consciousness, the reflective awareness it has of its own 
nature is not. 102 Thus while Light expresses the unity of consciousness, 
awareness, when distinguished from it, expresses the diversity of 
perceptions. At the microcosmic level we can say: 

The one light of consciousness consists of such types of reflective 
awareness as: 'this is a jar' and 'this is a cloth*; 'these two are divided 
from each other and from other subjects as well as from me'. 103 

At the macrocosmic level: 

The Light is the supreme reality {paramarthd) that encompasses 
[the categories] from Earth to Paramasiva, [while] the unfolding 
(unme$a) of the reflective awareness of the Heart [of T consciousness] 
within it, distinguishes between them. 104 

This does not mean that vimarsa is diverse. Although it is due to 
the awareness of the unity or relative distinction between the phenomena 
illumined by the light of consciousness that they are experienced as 
one or diverse, this is only possible because awareness is the same in 
both cases. 105 This then is another aspect of the dynamic nature of 
awareness: it is the "freedom [of consciousness] to unite, separate and 
hold things together. " 1()6 This distinguishes consciousness from inert 

74 The Doctrine of Vibration 

objects "devoid of the freedom to conjoin and disjoin." 107 It is the 
vibration of consciousness which generates the universe by a process 
of uniting and dividing the elements contained within it in an undiffer- 
entiated state. 108 Thus vimarsa is said to operate in four ways: (1) it 
negates its true nature and (2) identifies with something else, (3) merges 
both into one and (4) denies both once they have been merged together. 109 
These four functions correspond to three levels of reflective awareness, 
namely, the awareness of the separation, of the holding together and 
of the union of the manifestations of consciousness. First, by 'negating 
its true nature and identifying with something else', consciousness, 
through its power of awareness, freely identifies with the psychophysical 
organism and denies its true nature as consciousness. The result is the 
emergence of seemingly individual locii of consciousness distinct from 
the object and from each other. Secondly, through the same power of 
awareness, subject and object are held together and different objects 
related to one another in a single field of consciousness during the act 
of cognition. Thirdly, the indiv : dual subject and object, together with 
all diversity, merge in the reflective awareness the light of consciousness 
has of its nature as the universal subject. 

These three levels of awareness correspond to the three-fold 
appearing of consciousness: 

Division (Bheda) corresponding to the awareness of separation 
between objects. 

Awareness of unity~in-difference (bhedabheda) represented by the 
means of knowledge which serves as a link between the unity (abheda) 
of the subject and the diversity {bheda) of the object. 

Awareness of the undivided unity (abheda) of all things as the pure 

These three levels are held together in the fullness (purnata) of 
consciousness as the wave of vibration (spandd) of awareness moves 
from the lower contracted level of diversity in the process of ascent 
(arohakrama) to the expanded state of unity, and down from unity to 
diversity in the process of descent (avarohakrama). We can understand 
this movement from two points of view. Firstly, 'vertically' as a movement 
from the absolute down to its manifestation and back in consonance 
with the emanation (sr$fi) and withdrawal (samhara) of diversity. 
Secondly, 'horizontally' as the movement of awareness towards and 
away from the object during the act of perception. Perception serves 
in this way as a paradigm for cosmogenesis and as a means of realising 

Light and Awareness: Two Aspects of Consciousness 75 

the oneness and creativity of the absolute. 

An aspect of the pulsing power of awareness operates at each 
level as a separate energy generating, sustaining and annulling the 
dimension of experience to which it corresponds. Thus there are three 
energies, namely, those of will, knowledge and action corresponding 
to the supreme (para), middling (parapara) and inferior (apara) levels. 
These three are emanations or aspects of the pure 'I-ness' of the un- 
differentiated power of the reflective awareness of consciousness. 110 
This is the pure vibration of its Bliss which contains and pours forth 
all the powers operating on every plane of existence. It is the simultaneous 
awareness of the unity of all three planes in the oneness of undistracted 
contemplation. Self-realisation is the recognition that this integral 
'I-ness' (purnahanta) manifests on these three levels and is the yogi's 
true Siva-nature which encompasses all possible formats of experience, 
from the unity of transcendental consciousness to the diversity of its 
immanent manifestations. Spanda is thus the powerful wave of energy 
released through the act of self-awareness which carries consciousness 
from the lower contracted level to the supreme state of expansion, 
freeing the unawakened from the torments of limitation and awakening 
them to the fullness of universal consciousness. 


Spanda: The Universal 
Activity of Absolute 

We have seen how the dynamic {spanda) character of absolute 
consciousness is its freedom to assume any form at will through the active 
diversification of awareness (vimarsa) in time and space, when it is directed 
at, and assumes the form of, the object of awareness. The motion of 
absolute consciousness is a creative movement, a transition from the 
uncreated state of Being to the created state of Becoming. In this sense 
Being is in a state of perpetual Becoming (satatodita); it constantly 
phenomenalises into finite expression. The shining of inner Being is the 
manifestation of outer Becoming 1 and, as such, is the constantly self- 
renewing source of its own appearing as Becoming. Thus, the universal 
character (samanya) of Being is expressed in the radiant form (sphuratta) 
of each phenomenon. Rightly understood, Being and Becoming are the 
inner and outer faces of universal consciousness which becomes 
spontaneously manifest, through its inherent power, as this polarity. 2 The 
inner face (antarmukha) of consciousness is the pure subject which, devoid 
•of all objective content, abides beyond the realms of time and space. The 
Stanzas on Vibration declare: "That inner being is the abode of 
omniscience and every other divine attribute. It can never cease to exist 
because nothing else can be perceived [outside it]." 3 

78 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The outer face of consciousness represents the diversity and 
continuous change of the manifest universe— the object. 4 While the outer 
appears to be a distinct reality set apart from the inner, the inner contains 
the totality of the outer which appears within it without dividing its nature: 
"Internality", writes Utpaladeva, "is a state of oneness with the subject, 
while externality is the state of separation from it." 5 

Having made itself manifest consciousness abides as both the inner 
[subject] and outer [object]. It shines there [within itself] in such a way 
that it appears to be illumining [some] other [reality]. 6 

The emergence of a particular object within the field of awareness is 
accompanied by a mental representation through which the subject 
identifies the object and distinguishes it from others. 7 Thus, the manner in 
which the objective universe is experienced is governed by the same 
principles as those upon which thought is based. Phenomena follow one 
another linked in a causal chain, much as one thought leads to the next in 
a chain of associations (prapanca). This is not only true of individual 
objects but applies equally to individual perceivers. The manifestation of 
the universe and the emergence of Becoming, consisting of both individual 
subjects and objects, from the inner state of pure Being is equivalent to the 
emergence of thought in universal consciousness. Although introverted 
and inherently free of all dichotomysing mental activity, consciousness, 
through its inner vibration (spanda), conceives the world-thought 
(visvavikalpa). As it thinks. , it turns away from its pure 'I-ness' {ahanta) to 
plunge into its opposite — 'thisness' (idanta), which is the essence of all 
empirically definable distinctions {bhedavyavahara). Thus the movement 
from inner to outer engenders a split within consciousness between subject 
and object that gives rise to the perception of relative distinctions. This 
corresponds to the loss of a direct, thought-free intuition of the essential 
unity between inner and outer. 8 In the supreme state — that is the 'inner' 
reality of consciousness — there is no difference between 'inner' and 'outer'. 
Everything is experienced as part of one, undivided compact mass of 
consciousness (samvidghana). The pure Being (sattd) of universal 
consciousness assumes the form of Becoming and is involved in time and 
space only when a contrast appears within it between the perceiver and 
the perceived: 

It is Lord Siva alone Who, by virtue of His freedom, playfully gives 
rise to the subject and the object, the enjoyer and the enjoyed, which are 
the basis of every activity in this world of duality. 9 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 79 

When the power of awareness gives rise to a sense of separation 
between subject and object with all the consequent limitations it imposes 
upon itself, it is called 4 Maya\ As Maya, it veils consciousness and 
obscures the individual subject's awareness of its essential unity. 10 While 
non-dualist Vedanta maintains that Maya is an undefinable principle that 
gives rise to the cosmic illusion of multiplicity falsely superimposed on the 
undivided unity of the absolute, according to Kashmiri Saivism, Maya is 
the power of the absolute to appear in diverse forms. The separation 
between subject and object is the product of a creative act and not of an 

The variety of subjects and objects with their characteristic 
differences is made manifest by the creative power of the Lord, Who 
knows them." 

The creative freedom (svatantrya) of the absolute and its deluding 
power of Maya are identical. When the power of consciousness is 
recognised to be the spontaneous expression of the absolute made manifest 
in the variety of forms it assumes without compromising its essential unity, 
it is experienced as the pure vibration (spanda) of its freedom. If, however, 
the cosmic outpouring (yisvollasa) of consciousness is felt to consist of 
diverse and conflicting elements, the same power is called Maya. The field 
of operation of the freedom of the absolute is the kingdom of universal 
consciousness, while that of its power of Maya is the world of trans- 
migratory existence. The difference between them is based on the degree 
of insight we have into the nature of reality. Due to this power the object 
appears to be projected outside the subject even though it is always 
manifest within it and is the inner reality of the object. The creation of 
diversity is accordingly defined as 4 the projection (ksepa) of one's own 
nature into the Self from the Self. 12 Abhinava explains: 

Creation is to make that which shines within, externally manifest 
while it still preserves its original internal nature. Therefore [the object] 
must be made manifest by that in relation to which it is said to be internal 
and which makes the internal externally manifest. 13 

Conversely, the moment-to-moment destruction of the objective 
content of consciousness occurs by a reversal of the movement from inner 
to outer. The object, in other words, is never destroyed, but merely 
withdrawn into the inner reality of the subject. 14 The Spanda teachings 
agree with the Buddhist doctrine of momentariness only insofar as it 

80 The Doctrine of Vibration 

applies to outer objectivity. I5 Although perception and every phenomenal 
occurrence can be analysed into a series of moments (ksana), daily life 
cannot entirely be understood in terms of such moment-units. Change is 
an activity within the absolute which can only be properly understood in 
terms of conscious action and not as a mechanical process. Each act is part 
of a single continuous motion which proceeds from the agent — the pure 
Being of introverted consciousness — to its final completion in the result, 
which is the object or deed (karya). The outer reality of Becoming is the 
effect which emerges from the cause, the inner reality of Being, just as 
action emerges from the agent. It is a wave of activity which rises out of 
the infinite potential of the agent. Every event is a part of the greater 
rhythm of the total, cosmic event. Every object is part of the universal 
object and every subject shares in the agency of the universal subject. 
Ksemaraja writes: 

Hence the Lord creates and destroys only the objective aspect of the 
perceiver, i.e., the body, etc., but not the subjective aspect which is the 
light of T consciousness because although embodied, the subject is, in 
reality, one with the Lord. Thus of the two — subject and object— the 
latter is perishable while the former is the freedom of consciousness and 
immortal. For even when the world is emanated and absorbed [the 
subject] does not waver from his true nature. If he were to do so, the 
emanation and absorption of the world would not be manifest [for there 
would be none to perceive it]. 16 

The inner is the domain of Being, where the subject's power of 
knowledge (jnanasakti) operates within itself, while the outer is the 
domain of the subject's power of action (kriyasakti). Knowledge turns 
into action and action leads to knowledge. Thus every individual 
phenomenon has two aspects: its outer form and its inner nature. Its outer 
form is apparent to us as the manner in which it behaves, its properties and 
pragmatic efficacy (arthakriya). This aspect differentiates each individual 
object from other objects and renders it accessible to conceptual 
representation (savikalpa). Its inner nature the Kashmiri Saiva equates 
with its pure Being as an appearance (abhasa) within universal conscious- 
ness at one with pure T-ness' and hence inaccessible to conceptual 
representation (nirvikalpa). Thus the movement from Being to Becoming 
is essentially an act of perception. Perception is the connecting link 
between the outer manifest form of the object and its inner nature. The 
movement of awareness from inner to outer is equivalent to a movement 
from an awareness of the unity of the inner nature of all things to the 
diversity of their outer forms. The activity of consciousness gives rise to 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 81 

diversity in this sense alone. 

Although it would not be wrong to say that the absolute is in a 
constant state of transformation or is full of vibration — Spanda — from 
another point of view we could say that no change or movement occurs in 
the absolute at all. Movement (samrambhd) and rest (visranti) in the 
absolute presuppose one another. The freedom (svatantrya) of 
consciousness to do what seems, according to reason, to be impossible 
explains how the absolute can at once be motionless and yet full of activity. 
Abhinava explains: 

By Vibration' {spandana) [we mean] subtle movement. It is subtle 
[in the sense that] although it moves not, it manifests as motion. The light 
of consciousness is not at all separate [from manifestation] yet it appears 
to be so. Thus, that which is immobile, associated with the variety of 
manifestation, manifests [as movement]. 17 

Motion normally implies a movement between two separate points, 
which entails the existence of at least two distinct entities between which 
motion can occur. But as all things are equally consciousness there are no 
two such distinct realities between which motion, as we understand it, can 
take place. Abhinava explains that Spanda — the pulsation of 
consciousness — is defined as a 'subtle movement' (kinciccalana) because 
"if that movement [were] to entail motion towards another entity, it would 
not be 'subtle' [but merely gross motion];»if not, [on the other hand], it is 
not motion at all." 18 

The cosmic process consists of a cyclic series of creations and 
destructions which follow one another like buckets fixed on a water- 
wheel. 19 Although change is manifest through this process, and change is 
the basis of time, the pulsation of the absolute is a movement outside the 
confines of time. Siva is eternally engaged in all the phases of the creative 
act simultaneously and yet performs them one after another. So 
Utpaladeva sings of Siva's glory thus: 

Salutations to the Lord Who eternally delights in emission (srsti) 
and is always comfortably seated in persistence {sthiti), and is eternally 
satisfied with the Three Worlds for His food. 20 

Although the creative activity of consciousness is not divided by time 
or set in space, it is the basis of all sequentially definable spatial and 
temporal manifestations (desakrama and kalakramabhasa). Action, 
therefore, is of two kinds. The first is the kind of activity that can be 

82 The Doctrine of Vibration 

broken down into a series (krama) or sequence of actions set in time and 
space. The second type is the non-successive (akramika) action that takes 
place within the absolute. It is the source of time and space and hence 
beyond the spatial and temporal distinctions which characterize all 

"Worldly action", writes Utpaladeva, "can be said to be successive due 
to the power of time; but the eternal activity of the Highest Lord, like the 
Highest Lord Himself, cannot." 21 

Reality contemplated from the highest (para) level of consciousness 
is experienced as a single, unchanging (akrama) whole. At the lower 
(apara) level we experience this same reality as a sequence (krama) of 
events — as changing positions in space and a continuous transition from 
one moment in time to the next. At the intermediate (parapara) level, 
reality is experienced at the instant of cosmic manifestation into which it 
blossoms with the suddenness and energy of a lightning flash. 22 This 
cosmic expansion (visvasphara) occurs in a single, non-sequential flash 
which transcends both the successive change and the non-successive, 
simultaneous manifestation of all its phases at once. 23 Ksemaraja quotes 
the Sarasvatsamgraha as saying: "This Self has shone forth but once; it is 
full [of all things] and can nowhere be unmanifest." 24 

Abhinava explains: 

Moreover, consciousness does not issue forth in succession, as do 
the seed, sprout, stalk, petals, flowers and fruit, etc.. The sprout issues 
from the seed, and the stalk from the sprout, not the seed. In this case, 
however, absolute consciousness (samvittattva) is manifest here in every 
circumstance (sarvatah) [of daily life because] it is everywhere full and 
perfect. [Consciousness] is said to be the cause of all things because it is 
everywhere emergent (udita) [as each manifest entity]. 25 

A sequence is only intelligible as a series of differing elements. From 
the point of view of absolute consciousness, events do not occur 
successively. Succession (krama) depends upon difference, and difference 
on the existence of a certain manifestation (abhasa) and the (simultaneous) 
non-existence of another. 26 On the other hand, cosmic events cannot be 
said to occur simultaneously either, because simultaneity of being is only 
possible between two different entities. 27 In reality, succession and its 
absence are not objective properties of an entity but only formats of 
perception. 28 Succession is a function of time which is not to be 
understood as a self-existent reality but merely as the perception of 'prior' 
and 'subsequent' based on the recollection of past events in relation to the 
present or possible future events in the field of awareness. Thus 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 83 

Utpaladeva writes: 

Time is in reality nothing but the succession observable in the 
movement of the sun, etc., and the birth of different flowers [in their due 
season], or [the transition from] summer [to] winter. 29 

The transition or movement of awareness from one perception to the 
next is the basis of our sense of time passing. It is only possible because we 
sense separation between individual phenomena, both from each other 
and from the individual subject. This happens when consciousness freely 
obscures itself by turning away from its own self-awareness to become 
extroverted and contracted. In the essentially introverted nature of 
consciousness there is no time. Time operates within the sphere of 
objectivity; it cannot divide the inner subjectivity of consciousness. 30 To 
think that time can divide consciousness is like seeking nourishment from 
lumps of sugar cut from the sky by a whirling sword. 31 As consciousness is 
the source and basis of all appearances, it makes time manifest as well and 
hence cannot be affected by it. 

Ksemaraja insists that all talk of processes occurring within universal 
consciousness in terms of a sequence of events does not really refer to the 
actual state of affairs (vastu), but serves merely to impart instruction about 
the nature of consciousness in the only manner in which language 
permits. 32 The incessant creative activity of the absolute does not involve 
it in any temporal diversification. The emergence and submergence of 
each total-event from the body of consciousness does not divide it in any 
way. Even so, we experience change. Abhinava says: 

As there is no succession within [consciousness], there is no 
simultaneity; and as there is no simultaneity, there is no succession 
either. The extremely pure conscious reality transcends all talk of 
succession and its absence. 33 

In reality nothing arises and nothing falls away. It is the vibrating 
power of consciousness which, though free of change, becomes manifest in 
this or that form and thus appears to be arising and falling away: 34 

[All things] exist in Siva just as blue rays reside in the opal; in reality 
they nowhere come into being nor cease to exist. 35 

Reality presents itself to reason as a paradox: though it is one, yet it is 
diverse; though changing, it changes not at all. All the concepts we may 

84 The Doctrine of Vibration 

have of it necessarily fall short of the truth. To know reality we must 
experience it directly. "Why speak much?" ask the Stanzas on Vibration, 
"[the yogi] will experience it for himself! " 36 When the yogi is plunged in 
the contemplative absorption of the 'Fourth State' (turiya) beyond 
waking, dreaming and deep sleep, he shares in Siva's experience, enjoying 
its vibrant creative power personified as the Goddess, Siva's consort: 

This Goddess of Consciousness, the Fourth State (turiya) consists of 
the union of emission, preservation and destruction. She emits and 
withdraws [into Herself] each particular phase of emission, etc.. 
Containing all things within Herself She is eternally lull' and, [void of 
all particulars], k thin\ She is both as well as neither of the two, abiding 
[eternally] as the vibrating radiance [of consciousness] in a manner free 
of all succession (akrama). 11 

Cosmic creation and destruction is not a mechanical process. The 
emergence of the universe from consciousness and its submergence back 
into it are not simply a matter of withdrawing or replacing an object from 
a locus in space. The world does not come out of the absolute as do 
walnuts out of a bag. 38 The change from the pre-cosmic to the cosmic state 
is a transformation from one form of consciousness to another. The 
transition from one form of consciousness to another marks the creation 
of a new experience and the destruction of the old. Thus the power of 
awareness potentially contains within itself every possible experience — 
every cycle of creation and destruction. It is the inner blissful vibration 
(antahspanda) which impels the movement (yibhramd) of the universe 
made manifest as the outer cosmic rhythm (bahihspanda) of creation 
and destruction. 39 Ksemaraja writes: 

The vibrating power of awareness (spandasakti) is the bliss which is 
the wonder of the one compact mass of T consciousness embracing the 
endless cycles of creation and destruction. Its true nature is the 
manifestation of the expansion and contraction of the perceiver and the 
perceived which represent the entire pure and impure creation. 40 

Universal creation is like the individual creation of the world of 
waking life when a person wakes from sleep. Conversely, just as when a 
person sleeps all the activities and ideas of waking life cease and merge 
back into his self-consciousness, so during cosmic destruction, in the sleep 
(nimesa) of consciousness, everything is withdrawn and brought to rest 
within it. Abhinava prayerfully addresses Siva with the words: 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 85 

When Your nature expands, You, I and the entire universe come 
into being; when it is withdrawn, neither You nor I nor the universe 
[exist]. 41 The universe awakes when You awake and is destroyed when 
You sleep. Thus the entire universe of being and non-being is one 
with You. 42 

The Stanzas on Vibration explain that the universe comes into being 
when Siva, as it were, opens His eyes to see it, and is again destroyed when 
He closes His eyes to observe His own nature and no longer views the 
universe. 43 Siva's power to know the universe is one with His power to 
create it: 

Then, when the Lord desires to discern something within the abode 
of the Void, the universe spontaneously unfolds and is established within 
consciousness and the Lord's unfolding power of knowledge 
perceives it. 44 

In this way, consciousness expands to assume the form of the universe 
by withdrawing back into itself. In other words, by veiling His undivided 
nature, Siva appears as the diverse play of multiplicity. Conversely, when 
Siva reveals His own nature and withdraws the veil which contracts 
consciousness, the universe is destroyed: 45 

The Supreme Lord is the light of the absolute (anuttara). 
Concealing His own nature, by the glory of His free will alone, He rests 
on the plane of objectively definable knowledge (pramana), etc., and 
makes phenomena manifest [as if] separate [from His own nature]. 46 

The universe is the wonderful variety (vicitrata) of Siva's nature 
created by Him when he reflects on Himself and thinks 'I am diverse'. 47 
Siva contemplates none other than Himself, whether He knows Himself as 
the multiplicity of things or as their undivided source. At one with Siva, 
the enlightened yogi recognises that the expansion (unmesa) of the 
universe of diversity coincides with the expansion of his own undivided 
consciousness which appears as "the dawning of absolute reality to the 
exclusion of the external world." 48 Thus the two phases in the pulse of 
consciousness coincide. Oscillating like the pans of an evenly weighted 
balance, 49 they are perfectly equivalent. Ksemaraja writes: 

The state of cosmic contraction (nimesa) is identical with the state 
of expansion (unmesa) even though the [universe reverts to a pure 

86 The Doctrine of Vibration 

consciousness] which assimilates everything within itself to form an 
undivided unity. 50 


The contracted state (nimesa), corresponding to the withdrawal of 
previously emitted diversity, is itself the expanding (unmesa) awareness 
of the unity of consciousness. [Conversely] the expanded state (unmesa), 
indicative of forthcoming diversity, is itself the contraction (nimesa) of 
the awareness of the unity of consciousness. 51 

Thus, the expansion and contraction of consciousness are brought 
about by Siva's pulsating power, which is simultaneously identical with 
both. They are the internal and external aspects of the same energy. 
Similarly, cosmogenesis and lysis do not essentially differ: 

Cosmic lysis (pralaya) corresponds to the state of [Siva's] power in 
which external [objectivity] is predominantly withdrawn (nimesa). It is 
the unfolding (unmesa) of the innate nature which corresponds to the 
emergence of a state of unity (abheda) and the withdrawal of diverse 
multiplicity (bheda). Therefore we maintain that lysis (pralaya) is the 
same as the genesis (udaya of consciousness) and that genesis is also the 
same as lysis. 52 

There are many passages in the Upanisads which explicitly state that 
the universe emerges from Brahman and that it is ultimately reabsorbed 
back into It. 53 Even so, Sankara's Vedanta cannot accept that creation is 
a real process. Following the lead of his predecessor, Gautfapada, Sarikara 
maintains that no universe is ever actually created. The real is unborn and 
uncreated; 54 hence creation can only occur within the domain of illusion 
(rnaya). From the Advaita Vedantin's point of view, to state that the 
universe arises from, and subsides into, the absolute Brahman is another 
way of saying that the universe is transitory and hence illusory. Illusions 
also appear and disappear; only their real ground continues to exist 

"As the spaces within pots or jars," writes Sankara, "are non- 
different from cosmic space, or as water in a mirage is non-different from 
a [sandy] desert — since they sometimes appear and sometimes vanish 
away, and as such their nature cannot be defined, even so is it to be 
understood that this phenomenal world of experiences, things 
experienced and so on, has no existence apart from Brahman." 55 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 87 

Kashmiri Saivism maintains that all things are spontaneously 
emanated by consciousness in such a way that the original source of the 
emitted product remains unchanged and one with its emanation. The 
plenitude of universal manifestation emerges out of the fullness of the 
absolute; both are perfect expressions of the all-encompassing totality of 
reality which, thus emitting itself, suffers no loss. 56 The manifestation of 
the universe is, in this sense, a real event, not just an apparent change 
(vivarta) in the essentially undivided nature of the absolute. Even so, as 
the absolute undergoes no change when becoming manifest as the 
universe, diversity is, in a sense, merely an apparent deviation from unity. 
Again, in one sense, cosmogenesis involves a real transformation 
(parinama) of consciousness into the form of a universe, much as a ball of 
clay changes when fashioned into a jar. Yet, in another sense, conscious- 
ness undergoes no transformation at all. Bhagavatotpala quotes the Light 
of Consciousness (Samvitprakasa) in his commentary on the Stanzas on 
Vibration to illustrate this seeming paradox: 

In no circumstance is the All-Pervasive Lord subject in this way to 
change, either apparent or real. Even if He were subject to both His 
nature would remain undivided. 57 

The Kashmiri Saivite agrees with the Vedantin that everything 
appears just as it is without any real change occurring in the essential 
nature of the absolute. Even so, he maintains that the production of 
diversity is not merely an apparent change in the unity of the absolute if 
this implies the production of unreal entities, for they could never be made 
manifest. 58 Thus, the Kashmiri Saivite accepts the view that an effect is a 
real transformation (parinama) of its cause, although he does so with 
certain reservations. Even when the light of consciousness is apparent to 
us as the universe of our experience, there is no question of its becoming 
anything else. The effect is the cause appearing as the effect without 
changing in any way. Abhinava writes: 

[A real transformation of cause into effect] entails the obscuring of 
the preceding form [of the changing substance] and the coming into being 
of another. In the case of the light of consciousness this is impossible 
because it has no other form. [Moreover], if [the light of consciousness] 
were to be obscured [the entire universe] would be as if blind. Again, [if 
the new form] were other than the light of consciousness it could not 
appear. In either case the universe [could not be perceived and hence] 
would be as if asleep, [which runs contrary to our] experience. 59 

88 The Doctrine of Vibration 

A change can involve two types of transformation (parinama). The 
first type is total. The material cause becomes its effect (karyaparinama) 
in such a way that it is completely and irreversibly absorbed into it. The 
example given is that of a log burnt to ashes. This type of change the 
Kashmiri Saiva rejects, and so denies that the substance of a material 
cause undergoes any real change to produce its effect. However, he does 
accept the possibility of a real change occurring in its qualities (dharma- 
parinama). This second type of change does not entail the total destruction 
of the cause and allows for the possibility of a reversion of the effect back 
into it. All that has happened is that the qualities of the material cause — its 
form, texture, physical properties, etc., have temporarily changed. 60 

This concept of causality fits with the manner in which the Kashmiri 
Saivite describes the process of manifestation. Consciousness 
spontaneously evolves through a series of stages ranging from the most 
subjective or 'inner' states of Siva-consciousness to the most 'outer' or 
objective forms of awareness. The process of descent into matter is a 
progressive self-limitation (rodhana) of consciousness. As we have seen, 
the different orders or levels in the hierarchy (taratamya) of being do not, 
in reality, become manifest consecutively. Even so, the only way we can 
understand the process of manifestation is to conceive the different 
categories of existence (tattva) as progressively emerging from 
consciousness in a single causal chain. Each member of this chain is the 
effect of all the preceding members and a constituent cause of the lower, 
grosser orders which follow it. 61 Ksemaraja explains: 

When [the Lord] feels a playful desire to veil His own nature and 
appears in the order of descent, the preceding [members in the sequence] 
. . . fall into the background and the succeeding forms come to the fore, in 
such a way that the preceding members serve as the substratum for the 
succeeding [phases]. 62 

In this way the cause contains within itself the effect in a potential 
form while the effect contains the cause as its actualization. Abhinava 

Thus, even though the final element [in the series] is such as it is, it 
nonetheless contains within itself all the other countless aspects that, step 
by step, precede it and are encompassed by it in such a way that they are 
inseparable from its own nature. [Consciousness] thus illumines and 
contemplates itself as full and perfect {purna). The members which 
precede [any given phase] likewise have their being in the same reflective 
awareness and light of consciousness which, full and perfect, has already 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 89 

unfolded through the succeeding members. Thus, [none of the phases] 
are divorced from the fullness [of consciousness] and they embrace all the 
other members which precede them and forcibly induce them to form a 
part of their own nature. Each of these phases illumining itself thus, and 
reflecting on its own nature, is full and perfect. 63 

The two phases of the pulsation of consciousness from inner to outer 
and outer to inner are equivalent, respectively, to the processes of self- 
limitation or coagulation (rodhana) of consciousness and the dissolution 
(dravana) of the gross into the subtler forms of consciousness. They 
represent the sequence of descent into matter and ascent into conscious- 
ness. 64 As consciousness descends, its manifestations become increasingly 
subject to the power of natural law (niyati) and so progressively more 
conditioned. Conversely, as it ascends it frees itself, step by step, of 
constraints until it reaches its fullest manifestation as the absolute beyond 
all relativity. 65 Therefore, from one point of view, we can think of the 
process of descent as a movement into the fettered condition and the 
process of ascent as the movement towards liberation. This is how it 
appears to those who have not realised the true nature of the pulse of 
consciousness — Spanda — in its two phases. For the enlightened, however, 
these movements represent the spontaneous activity of consciousness. 
Creation is the manifestation of difference within the unity of conscious- 
ness through which it immanentalises into its cosmic form. Destruction is 
the reverse of this. Diversity merges into unity and consciousness assumes 
its transcendental formless aspect. These two aspects represent, 
respectively, the 'lower' (apara) and 'supreme' (para) forms of Siva. 

Three Moments in the Vibration of Consciousness 

The transformation from one aspect to the other can be analysed in 
terms of a number of successive phases. This, as we have seen, is no more 
than a convenient way of conceiving the activity of consciousness. Even 
so, it serves not only to explain in conceptual terms what happens, but it 
also serves as a means to realise the liberating experience of Spanda. One 
way this movement can be understood is to analyse it into three stages 
corresponding to three aspects of the universal power of Siva's 
consciousness, namely, will, knowledge and action. All things come into 
being through an act of will, with action as its immediate instrumental 
cause and knowledge of its application as the intermediary between the 
will to create and the act itself. 66 Insofar as the emergence of an object 

90 The Doctrine of Vibration 

within the field of awareness through the act of perception, and its 
subsequent subsidence when it has been perceived, are part of the radiant 
pulse (sphurana) of awareness, 67 this three-fold vibration constitutes the 
essential nature of all things as elements of experience. 68 The intent on 
making the object manifest, the actual act of manifestation and the 
manifest state, which are the result of these three powers in their due order, 
represent the beginning, middle and end of all things, held together as 
aspects of the universal flow of the absolute (anuttara). 69 Siva's 'lower' 
(apara) form is the unfolding (unme§a) of the flow (prasara) of this 
universal will 70 in which His powers of will, knowledge and action manifest 
in relation to their respective fields of operation. 71 In Siva's supreme 
(para) form His powers merge into one energy that comes to rest within 
Siva where it naturally resides. 72 As Bhaskaracarya explains: 

[Sakti's] own abode is understood to be the place of Being (sat) 
called Siva. It is [Siva's] vitality (vlrya), [His] energy of the nature of 
knowledge and action. [Energy's] stable state is absorption (Unata), that 
is, penetration into the agential aspect [of consciousness]. That same 
[state] is the light of intuition (pratibha) which is the solitary churner of 
the light of consciousness [that thus aroused issues forth as the 
universe]. 73 

In His supreme, transcendental state, Siva's knowledge is the 
awareness He has of Himself as full of all things (purno 'ham). It is one with 
His activity as the inner vibration of His all-embracing 'I-ness', the creative 
movement of the will. Thus, together, these three powers represent aspects 
of Siva's bliss, 74 which is His Spanda nature as the enjoying subjectivity 
(bhoktrtva). They are the Lordship (Isvarata), agency of knowledge 
(jnatftva) and agency of action (kartrtva) of universal consciousness. 75 
The vibration of consciousness is the power of one's own true nature 
(svabala) which brings about the incessant coming together and separation 
of these energies in the supreme state of universal consciousness and on the 
lower level of individual consciousness. 76 So let us now examine these 
three powers in greater detail. 

The Conative Power of Consciousness 

The self-revealing (svatahsiddha) character of Being corresponds to 
the incessant flow of consciousness through its will to Be. The outpouring 
of the will to exist expresses itself both as the active cause of individual 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 91 

beings and the passive assent (abhyupagama) to Being expressed through 
the individuality (svabhdva) of all that partakes of Being. The will is thus 
both the agent and the act of Being: 

Thus the will of the Lord Who wills to appear as the jars or cloths, 
etc., constituting the world as the manifestations (abhasa) of conscious- 
ness, is the cause, the agent and the action. 77 

The will is coextensive with its own conscious intent. As such it is a 
form of awareness (yimarsd) associated with a specific goal which it reflects 
on as its objective. The generic nature (samanyarupa) of awareness is thus 
restricted and directed to a single object. 78 The potter's intention to make 
a pot relates to the action he is about to perform. If his intent were not 
limited to its own specific object, the potter could just as well set about 
weaving a cloth or do anything else. 79 When we walk down the road, we 
are conscious of our ultimate destination and move towards it; even 
though we may pause to admire the scenery, the will remains fixed (niyata) 
on its goal. 80 Similarly, cooking involves a number of separate actions; 
even so, the awareness that T cook' remains one and unbroken. The 
conscious intent remains constant throughout. Although it may manifest 
at different times through different actions, the same will necessarily 
precedes every action and perception. The existence of another will, prior 
to, and instigating the will to act or perceive entails that this second will 
require another to initiate it and that another, leading to an infinite regress. 
Nor can we deny the existence of the will. Without an original desire to act, 
activity would be aimless: nothing would determine that one action should 
occur rather than another. Similarly, no intrinsic necessity ordains that 
the perception of a particular object should follow that of another. The 
reason why all other possible perceptions are excluded from the field of 
awareness is that the will freely chooses to direct attention towards the 
intended object of perception. 

Preceding both perception and action, the will is most clearly manifest 
(sphufa) when it begins to assert itself in the subject before either 
perception or action take place. The first moment or intent (aunmukhyd) 
of the will towards its objective conditions the inherent contentment of 
consciousness at rest in itself, by the act upon which it is intent. 81 Even so, 
it coincides with the final moment in the movement of the will when the 
previous desire to act is satisfied and consciousness abides in a state of pure 
intent free of all specific goals and full of the power of bliss. 82 Abhinava 

92 The Doctrine of Vibration 

[The universal will] in the form of desire (kamana) blossoms forth 
through the individual subject. Thus actualized, it is apparent as a desire 
for sense objects. It does not proceed through the succeeding phases 
[mechanically] step by step like the feet of the blind. Rather, after it has 
been aroused and has initially decided upon its goal, thus stimulated, it 
bounds forward with delight to forcibly lay hold of its goal like a far- 
sighted man when walking. The will is clearly evident in the initial state 
when it has [just] arisen and is similarly full and perfect {puma) in its 
final state of rest. 83 

Thus, we can distinguish between two moments in the movement of 
the will. The first is the initial state of tension or intent {aunmukhya) and 
the second when it goes on to develop into a conscious desire for a specific 
object (isyamana), discursively representable (savikalpa) at the individual 
level of awareness. At this stage the object of desire appears to be projected 
outside the subject who desires it, although at the universal level their 
essential unity remains unchanged. In reality, it is the subject who is 
always the object of his own desire. 84 But insofar as the subject is now 
caught up in the object he desires, the first moment is, from the point of 
view of practice, more important. So for the rest of this section we shall 
devote our attention to it. 

Prior to their manifestation, all things reside within consciousness in 
a potential form just as in a peacock's egg, we find all the peacock's limbs 
with its feathers large and small, colours and patterns. 85 In the state of 
involution (nimesa) all things mingle with one another in the all-embracing 
egoity (pumahanta) of Siva's nature. 86 When consciousness evolves 
(unmesa) out of itself to become the diversified universe of experience, this 
pre-existent potential is actualized. In this way differentiated awareness 
pours out of the body of undifferentiated consciousness, heralded by a 
subtle stress or vibration (ghurnana) of aesthetic delight set up in its causal 
matrix. 87 This is Spanda in its purest form, free of all differentiation. 
Bhagavatotpala defines it accordingly: "[This] pulsation (spanda) is 
consciousness free of mental constructs. It is the state in which the 
Supreme Soul actively tends towards [manifestation]. It simultaneously 
operates everywhere [although the Supreme Soul is in Himself] 
motionless (nistaraiiga)"** 

At this stage all the powers of the absolute are activated and merged 
in the unity of the bliss (ananda) Siva experiences contemplating His own 
nature. Subject, object and means of knowledge form a single undivided 
whole, like the clay ball (pinda) a potter is about to fashion into a jar. 89 It 
is the matrix of all cosmic vibrations, both of the physical order and the 
extra-physical or metaphysical. In this state consciousness is like a seed 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 93 

swelling to bursting point (ucchuna), abounding with infinite possibili- 
ties. 90 Somananda explains: 

When a waveless stretch of water becomes violently agitated, one 
may notice, if one observes carefully, an initial tension [which forms 
within it] just when this begins to happen. When the open fingers of the 
hand are clenched into a fist, one may notice at the outset of this action, 
a [slight] movement. Similarly, when the desire to create begins to unfold 
in consciousness, at rest tranquil in itself, a tension [arises within it]. 91 

This initial instant (tuti) is as fleeting and full of energy as a lightning 
flash. 92 Preceding the spatial-temporal continuum of the lower (apara) or 
immanent level of consciousness, it is not a moment fully set in time. The 
subtle influence the power of time exerts on the, as yet, unclearly 
differentiated objectivity (idanta) made manifest at this level 93 serves as a 
link between the eternal and the temporal, the unmanifest consciousness 
and the manifest universe. He who pays close attention to the initial 
welling up of desire when it is especially intense is afforded an opportunity 
to realise the fullness of consciousness by merging into the force of his 
intention. As Utpaladeva puts it: 

Here [during the initial movement of the will], worldly men who 
desire to ascend to the plane of ultimate reality can experience in this way 
the entire aggregate of energies. 94 

In states of heightened psychic intensity all the powers operating 
through the mind and senses are suddenly withdrawn into the pulsing core 
of one's own nature, just as a tortoise contracts its limbs in fright, 95 and the 
continuity of mental life is suddenly broken. The ordinary man, hopelessly 
distracted, is carried away by this flood of energy (saktivisarga). The yogi, 
however, master of himself, can by the sheer intensity of this energy 
penetrate through the flux of his feelings to the 'firmly fixed vibration' 
(pratisfhaspanda) of his own nature. He must learn to do this the instant 
fear arises in him or when he begins to feel depressed or disgusted, no less 
than when he is confused and wondering what to do. Equally he must try 
to penetrate into the source of the vitality (virya) which intensifies the 
activity of the senses during the ecstasy of love or of joy at beholding a 
beautiful object or seeing a close relative after a long time. 96 Overcome 
with the awe (vismaya) of self-realisation (atmalabhd), the yogi intuits the 
intense feelings welling up inside him as aspects of the aesthetic rapture of 
consciousness (ciccamatkara) 91 in which all emotions blend together like 

94 The Doctrine of Vibration 

rivers in the ocean of his blissful consciousness. The Stanzas on 
Vibration teach: 

Spanda is stable in that state one enters when extremely angry, 
extremely excited, running or wondering what to do. 98 

The alert yogi (prabuddha) reflects upon his own nature and in so 
doing instantly penetrates into the initial tension of the will during these 
heightened states of emotivity. The instant they arise he is elevated beyond 
his conditioned state of consciousness and so is never entangled in them. 
The unawakened, however, overcome by Maya, falls a victim to these 
states believing mistakenly that his many perceptions and actions are 
independent of the universal pulsation of his own authentic nature. Thus 
in order to achieve the direct intuitive insight (upalabdhi) that they are 
grounded in the universal movement of consciousness (samanyaspanda), 
one must desist from the tendency, engendered by one's lack of self- 
awareness, to make distinctions between the functions (yrtti) of 
consciousness to will, exert itself, know and act, etc.". In this way, the yogi 
discovers that they are all aspects of the one undivided pulse of 

This awareness can be achieved by attending to the first movement of 
the will, discovered when we are fully present to ourselves in the actuality 
of our situation. Every instant is a new beginning which abides in the 
eternity of the self-perpetuating present where all 'beginnings' cease. 100 
The closer we come to experiencing the moment in which the impulse to 
action arises, the more directly we come in contact with the concrete 
actuality of the present and the authenticity of our Being. Thus the Spanda 
teachings instruct the yogi to maintain an alert awareness of the continuity 
of his consciousness throughout his every action. When running in fear, 
for example, he should attend closely to the desire he feels to lift his foot; 
then to the exertion he applies to lift it and the attention he directs to the 
place where he is going to place it, as well as the actual act of doing so. He 
must similarly attend to each phase in the production of words and 
sentences (sabdanispatti) uttered in the excitement of a vivacious 
conversation, or the movement of the fingers while playing a musical 
instrument. 101 

The same holds true of the impulse to perceive. The yogi must fix his 
attention on the thought-free (nirvikalpd) intent of the unfolding (unmesa) 
of awareness which marks the initial impulse to perception (didrksa). For 
an instant the individual subject (ksetrajna) experiences the same identity 
between the entities he desires to perceive and his own consciousness, as 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 95 

does the supreme subject between Himself and every entity in the 
universe. 102 He shares in the Great Pervasion (mahavyapti) of universal 
consciousness present in all the categories of existence (tattva). 
Abhinava explains: 

Immersing himself in the supreme reality, clearly aware that 
consciousness is all things, [the yogi's consciousness] vibrates. This 
vibration (ghurrii) is the Great Pervasion (mahavyapti). m 

Always on the alert to discern the activity of his own vibrating 
consciousness, the yogi's attitude (mudra) is kept secret (rahasya) in the 
privacy of his own experience. Established in his own nature, the yogi's 
awareness is intent (unmukha) on discerning the All (sarvabhava) as his 
true nature through the on-going expansion (yikasavftti) of his own 
consciousness the instant his senses are set in motion: 

The yogi should abide firmly fixed in his own nature by the power of 
the exertion of [his] expanding consciousness (vikasavrtti). [Thus he is] 
established on the plane of Bliss relishing the objects of sense that 
spontaneously appear before him. Perfected yogis (siddha\ devoted to 
bliss, are ever steadfast in this, the Supreme Gesture (mudra), the perfect 
and unobstructed expansion of the Awakened. 104 

Intent in this way on the initial movement of the will, the power of the 
yogi's awareness free of thought-constructs (nirvikalpd) transcends the 
limitations imposed upon it by the diversity of perceptions and he is 
awakened to the higher reality of his all-embracing (purna) nature. 
Penetrating into the universal vibration (samanyaspanda) of conscious- 
ness, he shares in its unfolding vision (unmesa) 105 and comes to recognise 
every state, whether in the mental or in the physical sphere, to be Siva. 106 
Every phase in the unfolding and withdrawal of the activity of the will is 
now illumined by the yogi's reflective awareness. Perceiving the totality of 
his experience through the undivided vision of universal consciousness, he 
experiences the subject, object and means of knowledge as a single whole 
reposing in the supreme subject with which he is now identified. Having 
burnt away the sense of diversity (vibhagabodha) in the fire of awareness 
and transmuted it into the unity of his true nature, the yogi is established in 
the supreme flow (paradhara) of the powers of consciousness. 107 He 
maintains a state of self-awareness throughout every moment of his 
experience, be it while waking, dreaming or in deep sleep. 108 Space, time, 
change and form are recognised to be modalities of the one consciousness 

96 The Doctrine of Vibration 

and no longer condition it. The awakened yogi is now constantly mindful 
of the pulsing power of his true nature not only in the beginning but in 
every phase of his activity and perception. He realises that all things exist 
by virtue of their identity with the supreme subject which he recognises 
himself to be and so no longer wanders in samsara. m 

The Cognitive Power of Consciousness 

The apparent gap between the unmanifest, perceiving consciousness 
and the manifest, perceived object is bridged by understanding their 
distinctive status as two modes of perception. The cognitive power of 
consciousness operates both as the immediate, intuitive awareness 
consciousness has of its own nature and as the mediated perception of 
objectively manifest particulars. The will to create represents the first 
movement (adyaspanda) out of the absolute, unmanifest condition into 
the relative, phenomenally manifest state. The first movement (adya- 
spanda) of awareness that occurs within the sphere of manifestation is 
the perception of the undifferentiated totality projected into it by the 
universal will. The activity of the power of knowledge coincides with the 
expansion (unmesd) of objectivity in the field of awareness. In the 
primordial emptiness of consciousness the faint traces of cosmic 
manifestation appear as 'the inner desire to know the universe [conscious- 
ness] wills to create'. 110 This unfolding awareness successively evolves 
through the various states of consciousness ranging from deep sleep to 
the waking state, ' ] l where the totality of occurrences making up the world 
of experience is set apart from the individual locus of awareness. The 
perceptions occasioned by the operation of the cognitive power of 
consciousness are now fully formed and the universe of experience is 
manifest in all its plenitude: 

This is the expansion of the power of knowledge which unfolds 
[spontaneously] through its own energy (tejas); phenomena become fully 
manifest through the persistence of cognition {jnanasthiti). u2 

The vibrating power {spandasakti) of knowledge is thus the pure 
cognitive awareness (upalabdhrta) of consciousness, 113 which both links 
perceptions together and accounts for their individual emergence within 
the field of awareness. These two functions correspond to the quiescent 
and emergent aspects of consciousness, which together account for the 
possibility of phenomenal experience. The quiescent aspect represents 

Spanda: Universal Activity of Absolute Consciousness 97 

absolute, undivided consciousness and the emergent, its finite manifesta- 
tions. Perceptions could not take place were consciousness to be 
constantly at rest within itself. Completely immersed in its own 
indeterminate nature, nothing could be made manifest at all. On the other 
hand, if consciousness were to be entirely emergent as the manifest 
universe, it could never be consciously experienced. The apparent 
ontological distinction between the absolute and the relative, the infinite 
and the finite, is thus reducible to an epistemic distinction between two 
different modes of knowledge. The cognitive power of consciousness is 
its capacity to shift back and forth between these two modes and, as it 
does so, select some of the countless potential forms merged within it to 
make them externally manifest. 114 The light of consciousness, full to 
overflowing with innumerable phenomena, thus separates some of them 
from itself, while at the same time limiting its own nature to apear as the 
individual (mayiya) subject set apart from the object. Perception takes 
place when this limited subject is affected by the 'shade' (chaya) cast upon it 
by the object. As the pulse of awareness moves from the expanded, 
undivided state to the contracted, limited condition and back again at 
each instant, novel perceptions are generated and the world of experience 
is thus constantly renewed. Thus this energy, like those of will and action, 
is essentially Siva's creative power (svdtantrya) which is the vibration 
(spanda) of consciousness through which He generates all things. 115 

The Power of Action 

Siva's conative energy becomes fully evident in all its plenitude when 
the activity of consciousness is manifest (prasrta) on the phenomenal 
plane. 116 The creative will is the freedom of the absolute and so is equated 
both with its power to act (kriydsakti) and its power to fashion the diverse 
forms of the universe (nirmdnasakti). It is the action of the creative 
subjectivity (nirmatrta) of consciousness. 117 As 'the agency of the act of 
Being' the power of action is the essence (sard) of universal Being 
(sattamatra) u% of all things 119 both as their pragmatic efficacy and 
manifest nature. 120 

This autonomous act of Being is free in every way. It is an act of 
awareness, the agent of which is the Light of the Heart of consciousness. 
Being can only be directly experienced within the domain of the subject. 
We cannot grasp the pure Act of universal Being in the sphere of 
objectivity. The object is a product of the act of Being of which the 
subject is the agent. Only the agent is completely autonomous and 

98 The Doctrine of Vibration 

self-existent. As such he is one and absolute and so can be none other than 
Siva Himself, Whose agency is free in all respects. 121 The potter is an agent 
and is free to make his pot because he shares in Siva's nature as the agent. 122 
It is Siva Himself Who fashions the jar through the potter and weaves a 
cloth through the weaver, just as at the universal level He is the guide and 
impeller (pravartaka) of the flux of cosmic forces and of the powers of 

Listen! Our Lord, Whose nature is consciousness, is unlimited, the 
absolute master of the arising and dissolving away of every power. 123 

Siva, the universal agent, eternally active is never bound by His 
activity. The universe is the unfolding effect of Siva's agency (kartj-pratha) 
while He, as the agent, always remains true to His essential, autonomous 
nature. 124 The law of action and reaction (karma) binds only the 
ignorant. 125 At the lower level, outer activity contrasts with inner 
awareness. The unfolding of the power of action coincides with the 
withdrawal of self-awareness. At the higher level, the universal outpouring 
of consciousness is experienced as the inner Being of all things which 
spontaneously rise out of it without obscuring it in any way: 

Thus action is said to be one and born of no other inner nature [but 
itself, which, as such] emerges out of the innate nature [of all things]. It 
is [the goddess] Siva, the inner nature, which spontaneously emerges 
out of itself. 126 

The Doctrine of Vibration urges us to be conscious of Spanda, the 
recurrent activity of consciousness. In all its outer phases, be they will, 
knowledge or action, we can catch a glimpse of our authentic identity and 
realise our inherent freedom. The inner activity of consciousness, free of 
all restrictions, is bliss itself. The experience of Spanda is wonder, an 
abiding bliss far higher than the transitory pleasures of life. We can 
experience Spanda through the activity of the senses, mind and body, 
because its foundation is universal consciousness, our authentic Siva 
nature. Thus the Spanda yogi finds freedom where those who, failing to 
attend to the vibration of consciousness, are bound. 


Siva and Sakti 

As do the Tantras that are their original source and inspiration, all 
Kashmiri Saiva traditions speak of God as an inconnumerable and perfect 
Identity between two contrasted principles, distinguishable in all 
composite things, but coincident without composition in the One Who is 
everything. Encompassed by the vision of Siva's all-embracing 
consciousness, all contrasts and contradictions are resolved in the 
harmony of opposites. 1 This unity is the Wholeness of the All in which 
the opposites are transfigured into a divine polarity, each member of 
which fully represents the absolute through its inherent identity with its 
opposite counterpart. 

In the Hindu tradition this primal opposition and its reconciliation 
in the unity of opposites is understood as the intimate, inner relationship 
between God and His omnipotent power. God is the formless and 
transcendent unity Who as, and through, His power manifests diversity. 
God and His creation are not two contrasting realities. Intimately bound 
together as heat is with fire 2 or coolness with ice, 3 Sakti — God's power, 
and Siva — its possessor, are never separate. 4 Even so, if we are to 
understand their relationship we must provisionally distinguish between 
them in the realms of manifestation. First, we have the finite vision in 
which they are seen apart and then the infinite vision in which we realise 
their unity. Without the experience of duality that of unity would have no 
meaning. Unity is not mere negation of distinction, but the absence of 
difference in diversity. The realisation of unity (tadatmya) consists of the 
insight that apparently different things are identical. 

100 The Doctrine of Vibration 

As expressions of this polarity, the Doctrine of Vibration focuses on 
the continuity and change which characterize every experience. 
Accordingly, Ksemaraja represents the primordial couple as Sankara and 
His Spanda energy. Spanda is the immanent, actively emergent aspect, 
while Sarikara, although 'one with the Spanda principle and never 
otherwise', 5 is the pure, unchanging experiencer Who represents the 
element of continuity — the passive, quiescent aspect of consciousness. In 
the Trikakula school the latter is called Bhairava and the former His 
emission (visarga): 

"Bhairava and His power of emission," explains Abhinava, 
"constitute the couple (yamala). One member (Bhairava) rests in His 
own eternal, unchanging nature, and is therefore called 'repose' 
(visrama). The other is His primordial vibration (prathamaspanda) 
and is therefore called 'emergence' (udaya)." 6 

The opposites separate and merge in rhythm with the pulsing union 
of Siva and Sakti. This play of opposites is itself the absolute, the supreme 
form of Spanda. 7 When Siva and Sakti unite, the universe, formerly 
experienced as a reality set apart from consciousness, ceases to exist. 
When they separate, it is once more created. The eternal rhythm of cosmic 
creation and destruction is consonant with the pulse of their union and 
separation. Spanda is the blissful relationship between these two aspects 
through which the universe unfolds. 8 The emission of cosmic manifesta- 
tion (visarga) pours out between these two poles. It is the result of their 
conjunction, just as through the bliss of orgasm (visarga) the male and 
female seeds mingle, and man — the microcosm — is born. The yogi who 
witnesses this union experiences the birth of a higher level of consciousness 
within himself. He recognises the all-powerful pulsation of his conscious- 
ness as it moves between Sankara's transcendental bliss 9 and the radiant 
emission of His immanent power within Himself. One fixed and the other 
moving, these two poles are like firesticks that, rubbing together, generate 
within Sankara His pure Spanda energy. 10 In the bliss of self-realisation, 
the yogi experiences this as the simultaneous unfolding of cosmic 
consciousness and the pure undifferentiated consciousness of the absolute. 
He experiences them together as the universal vibration of the supreme 
subject beyond all contradictions and distinctions. Abhinava instructs: 

Just as a female ass or mare [in orgasm], enters into the [delight of 
her own] Abode, the Temple of Bliss repeatedly expanding and 
contracting and is overjoyed in her own heart, so [the yogi] must establish 
himself in the Bhairava couple, expanding and contracting, full of all 

Siva and Sakti 101 

things, dissolved and created by them again and again. ' * 

Jayaratha explains that the contraction of Sakti marks the 
withdrawal of the universe and the expansion of transcendental Siva- 
consciousness. Conversely, the contraction of Siva-consciousness marks 
the expansion of Sakti as the cosmos. ,2 The yogi attains the supreme state 
of consciousness by experiencing the pulsing rhythm of this divine couple 
(yamalabhava) through which he realises that the absolute is at once both 
Siva and Sakti and yet neither of the two: 

The couple (yamala) is consciousness itself, the unifying emission 
and the stable abode. It is the absolute, the noble cosmic bliss consisting 
of both [Siva and Sakti]. It is the supreme secret of Kula [the ultimate 
reality]; neither quiescent nor emergent, it is the flowing fount of both 
quiescence and emergence. 13 

Both Sankara and His Spanda energy have two aspects. Sankara is 
Spandasakti, the active aspect, as well as being Sankara, the passive 
aspect. Equally, Spanda is Sankara, the passive aspect, as well as being 
Spanda, the active aspect: 

"These two aspects, passive (santa) and active (udita)" explains 
Abhinava, "arise at the same time in the power and its possessor. The 
active passes from one domain to the other, the passive is confined within 
the Self [the essential nature of both]. But even so, in reality, each of 
them form a couple (yamala). Hence the emergent is the quiescent." 14 

Despite the one aspect being the other, Spandasakti is still the active 
aspect and the cause of creation: 

Even though the awareness proper to these two aspects, passive and 
active, pertains to them equally, nonetheless it is power, not its possessor, 
that nurtures His emission (visarga). 15 

Mahesvarananda explains the manner in which we can perceive Siva 
and Sakti as a gestalt. It is like a picture of a bull and an elephant drawn 
together in such a way that we see either one or the other depending on the 
way in which we view it. 16 There is a movement (spanda) of awareness 
from one to the other as Siva becomes Sakti and Sakti becomes Siva. They 
are reflected within one another like two mirrors facing each other. 
Exchanging roles repeatedly, they penetrate each other in the intimacy of 

102 The Doctrine of Vibration 

their union. 17 In this way consciousness contemplates itself as both Siva 
and Sakti simultaneously. In other words, the moment in which it is aware 
of itself as transcending all things, it is also aware of its immanence. These 
two moments of transcendence and immanence imply one another while 
remaining distinct. 18 

The Play of Passion and its Power (Kamakalavilasa), a text of the 
Sakta Srividya tradition explains the dynamics of this process in some 
detail. Siva and Sakti are represented in this work as the universal subject 
and His cosmic object. Their infinite nature is symbolized by two trans- 
dimensional points of absolute consciousness (bindu). Siva is represented 
by a white point (suklabindu) and Sakti by a red point (sonitabindu): both 
expand and contract. 'White Siva' penetrates 'Red Sakti'. This results in 
the creation of the universe and Siva's transformation into Sakti and 
Sakti's transformation into Siva. Siva becomes 'Red Siva' and acts as the 
supreme reality and transcendental ground of 'White Sakti' — the manifest 
universe. Then 'Red Siva' penetrates into 'White Sakti' and 'White Siva' 
withdraws from 'Red Sakti'. This phase of their pulsation marks the 
moment of transcendence and the withdrawal of the universe. 'White 
Sakti' is retransformed into 'White Siva' and 'Red Siva' into 'Red Sakti'. 
Sakti then merges in Siva as the introverted awareness He has of Himself 
as pure transcendental T consciousness. They thus exchange roles. When 
one comes to the fore and becomes manifestly apparent, the other recedes 
into the background as the unmanifest, inner nature of the other. The two 
moments of transcendence and immanence, Siva and Sakti, thus imply 
one another. 19 

The two points make up the two aspects of Visarga — the last member 
of the vowel series, written in Sanskrit as ':' and pronounced 'h'. This is 
the form (svarupa) of KameSvarl — the Mistress of Passion Who is the 
power of reflective awareness (yimarsasakti) through which the absolute 
unfolds and withdraws its cosmic form. She is called 'Kala'— the 'Divine 
Power' of consciousness manifest as the incessant transformation or 
Spanda of Siva and Sakti. When Siva and Sakti, the two aspects of the 
pure vibration of consciousness, are understood as one reality, their 
symbol is a single dot (pronounced 'in') called a 'mixed point' (misra- 
bindu). It represents both the integral unity of the absolute and the fertile 
potential of consciousness which, like a seed, is swollen (ucchuna) ready to 
germinate into cosmic manifestation. 20 This 'mixed point' is the seed of 
consciousness known as the 'Sun of Knowledge'. It is Kamesvara — the 
Lord of Passion. 21 He is the Self worshipped by yogis as the highest reality 
and the form or body (pintfa) of the absolute symbolized as the sexual 
embrace of Siva and Sakti, 22 the Divine Husband and Wife. He is called 
'Passion' (kamd) because His state is sought and desired (kamyate) 

Siva and Sakti 103 

by great yogis. 23 

Siva is symbolized in the mystic alphabet by the first letter — 'A' — 
which stands for the absolute. Sakti is represented by *H\ the last letter of 
the Sanskrit alphabet, which symbolises the ongoing emanation (prasara) 
of the universe. Each letter of the alphabet stands for an aspect or phase in 
the cycle of cosmic manifestation and withdrawal. 4 A' and 'H', Siva and 
Sakti, the two ends of the cycle, are united by their 'Passion' (kama\ in the 
totality of 'Aham' (T consciousness). This pure T is the universal 
vibration of consciousness 24 which embraces the universe in its nature. 25 
It is Kamakala sometimes called the 'Supreme Power', 26 and at other times 
the Supreme Siva. 27 The identity and distinction between them is thus 
reiterated in different ways at higher and lower levels of consciousness in 
more or less comprehensive terms. 

Despite their essential identity, the Saivite stresses Siva's superiority 
over Sakti and the Sakta that of His power. Thus, although all schools of 
Kashmiri Saivism are essentially Saivite, some tend to emphasise the 
importance of one or the other. The Spanda school, however, maintains 
that power and the power-holder are equally important. Sankara is the 
source of power 28 and so is, in this respect, superior to the Goddess Who is 
its embodiment. On the other hand, this power is the means by which we 
can discover our authentic identity to be Siva — the power-holder. The 
flow of the supreme power is Sankara 's path. 29 Herein lies Spanda's 
importance; while Sankara is the goal (upeya), Spanda is the means 
(upaya). 30 We must recognise the activity of Spandasakti in every moment 
of our lives. By knowing the divine energy which creates and animates the 
world, we know ourselves to be its possessor. Only through Spanda's 
power can we realise our identity with Siva. But it alone is not enough; 
power without a power-holder to regulate its activity is blind and 
potentially destructive. 


The Spanda yogi experiences the absolute in intimately personal 
terms as an infinite and perfect divine Being. Although not an object of 
thought, and hence, Nameless (nirnama), 31 this divine reality is present in 
all named things. 32 It is the Nameless Whose name is All-Names. It is man 
who gives It a name to aid in his quest for enlightenment and endear it to 
his own heart. 33 As a male deity Vasugupta and Kallaja call Him Sankara, 
Siva, Viresa and Bhairava. His commentators add to this list common 
synonyms of Siva such as Mahesvara, Paramesvara, Isa, Sambhu, etc.. Of 

104 The Doctrine of Vibration 

all these names for Siva, 'Sarikara' is the one preferred by the teachers of 
the Spanda tradition. Intent solely on gracing man in every way, Sarikara 
is so-called because He bestows the best of things (sam). 34 Like the 
Wishfulfilling Gem, He gives man all he desires. 35 As Abhinava says: 

Once one has achieved the Supreme Lord's state (paramesvarata)a\\ 
the good things that came from it are automatically attained just as all the 
jewels [in the world] are acquired by acquiring Rohana, the Mountain of 
Gems. Other achievements are vain if one has missed the supreme reality, 
the Self. But once one has attained this reality {paramarthd), there is 
nothing left one could desire. 36 

Through Sarikara 's grace man overcomes all the limitations that 
contract his consciousness and he comes to recognise that it fills the entire 
universe. Encompassing all things in itself it is blissfully at rest. 
Ksemaraja says: 

We praise Sarikara Who is one's own nature. He bestows the grace 
to recognise the total expansion of one's own consciousness which is the 
non-duality of Supreme Bliss wherein all troubles cease. 37 

Sarikara bestows both the peace of liberation from suffering 
(apavarga), and the delight (bhoga) of recognising all things to be nothing 
but Sarikara Himself. 38 Man achieves liberation (mok$a) and becomes 
tranquil through Sarikara 's gracious withdrawal (nime$a) of the binding 
activity of Maya. Through the concomitant expansion (unme$d) of his 
consciousness, he enjoys divine bliss (bhoga) in countless forms, 39 even 
while delighting in the world. Ksemaraja quotes Utpaladeva as saying: 
"This is Sarikara 's Path wherein pain becomes pleasure, poison turns to 
nectar and samsara becomes liberation." 40 

As the innate nature (svabhdva) common to all (samanya) 
phenomena 41 none equal Sarikara nor are like Him (nihsdmdnyd) 41 He is 
the supreme good realised at the 'summit of all summits'. 43 None is greater 
than He along the scale of Being and so can only be discovered at the very 
peak of man's spiritual endeavour: 

O Lord, those who have achieved the supreme path (gati) of 
renunciation, the supreme wealth of knowledge and the supreme summit 
of desirelessness, bear You, the Lord, [always before them]. 44 

The gods who rule ever the worlds pale before Siva's glory; they are 

Siva and Sakti 105 

like mere bubbles in the vast ocean of His consciousness. 45 The many 
powerful gods, including Visnu and Brahma, reside within the sphere of 
Maya and owe their divine status to a mere spark of Siva's power. 46 
Arranged in order of precedence, the gods are like flowers in bloom on the 
creeper of Siva's power. 47 They all aspire to attain Siva's abode and race 
along the garland-like ladder of yogic practice (karma) in their attempt to 
reach it. 48 Again, while they have fixed forms, Sankara appears to us in 
whatever form we worship him, like a Wishfulfilling Gem which appears in 
any form we wish it to assume. 49 Siva, the source of all the powers, 
becomes manifest through them and is worshipped in various ways, 
according to the form we conceive Him to have. 50 Yet, as Bhafta 
Narayana says: 

O Lord, even though You are seen and desired in various ways, 
You bestow the wonderful (citra) fruit of Supreme Reality in its 
entirety. 51 

The names and forms of God may vary but ultimately all the forms in 
which the Deity may appear, or names that it may assume, are expressions 
of the radiant pulsation of man's own consciousness (svatmasamvit- 
sphurana). Ultimately the most authentic form of God and the object of 
worship is the Self. 52 Mahesvarananda asks: "Abandoning their own 
consciousness, what lifeless [object] should they worship?" 53 


Those Who meditate on other deities abandoning attention to their 
own nature [although] possessing great wealth, go begging. And even 
when they have begged [their food, still remain] hungry. 54 

In reality, both the worshipper and the worshipped, the bound and the 
released, are Siva: 

May Siva Who has penetrated and become one with me, worship 
Himself thus by means of His own power that He may Himself reveal 
His own nature. 55 

The basis of Sankara's divinity is His Spanda nature. Spanda 
converts the cold, impersonal absolute of monistic Vedanta into Sankara, 
the warm, worshipful absolute of Kashmiri Saivism. An impersonal 
absolute is unsatisfactory on metaphysical grounds, and fails to satisfy 
man's deepest need for devotion and grace. Ksemaraja quotes BhaUa 

106 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Nayaka as saying: 

O Lord, how fruitful can this neuter Brahman be without the 
beautiful female of Your devotion which makes of You a person? 56 

Through its divine power the Self assumes the form of a deity man 
can contemplate and venerate, even though Siva, the pure subject, can 
never in fact be an object of meditation (adhyeya). Until we realise our 
true identity with Sankara, He is worshipped and conceived to be a reality 
alien to ourselves. While we are in the realm of creation, He too is a 
creation or mode or appearing of the absolute, manifest to us in 
meditation, through His freedom as an eternal, omniscient being. 57 There 
is no gulf between the created and the uncreated creator: 

Nothing in reality, although an object of knowledge, ceases to be 
Siva: this is the reason why meditation [on this or that aspect] of reality 
bestows its fruit. 58 

The world of the senses and mind appears to the Well Awakened 
(suprabuddha) as a theophany, an eternal revealing of God in His creation. 
The Doctrine of Vibration declares that "there is no state in word, meaning 
or thought, either at the beginning, middle or end, that is not Siva." 59 To 
utter any word is, in reality, to intone a sacred formula. 60 Every act is a 
part of Siva's eternal cosmic liturgy, every movement of the body a ritual 
gesture (mudra), and every thought, God's thought. 

By what path are You not attainable? What words do not speak of 
You? In which meditation are You not an object of contemplation? 
What indeed are You not, O Lord? 61 

Spandasakti, which accounts for the appearing of all things, is also 
the means by which Deity in its many varied forms appears to man. 
Ksemaraja concludes: 

The ultimate object of worship of any theistic school differs not 
from the Spanda principle. The diversity of meditation is due solely to 
the absolute freedom of Spanda. 62 

Sankara is not only the supreme object of devotion; as the static 
polarity of the absolute, He is the inner reality which holds together its 

Siva and Sakti 107 

outer manifestations. 63 Phenomena are patterns of cognitions projected 
onto the surface of self-luminous Siva-consciousness. There they become 
apparent, directly revealed to consciousness according to their manifest 
form. Siva is accordingly symbolized as the ground or surface of 
awareness, smooth and even like a screen (samabhittitalopama). 64 
Inscribed on this screen (kutfya) are the countless manifest forms which 
appear within it rendering it as diverse and beautiful as a fossil ammonite 
(falagrama). 65 Siva is the sacred ground upon which the cosmic mantfala 
is drawn, the absolute surface of inscription which bears the mark (cihna) 
of the universe. Abhinava writes: 

The variety of this world can only be manifest if the Highest Lord, 
Who is essentially the pure light of consciousness, exists; just as a surface 
is necessary for a picture. If external objects were perceived in isolation 
then, because 'blue' and 'yellow', etc., are self-confined and the 
perceptions [we have of them] refer to their objects alone and so are 
insentient, mute and dumb in relation to one another . . . how would it be 
possible to be aware that an object is variegated? But just as depths and 
elevations can be represented by lines on a smooth wall, and we perceive 
[a female figure and think], "she has a deep navel and upraised breasts', 
similarly it is possible to be aware of differences in the variegated 
(contents of experience) only if all the diverse perceptions are connected 
together on the one wall of the universal light of consciousness. 66 

Siva is the perfect artist Who, without need of canvas or brush, paints 
the world pictures. The instant He imagines it, it appears spontaneously, 
perfect in every respect. The colours He uses are the varying shades and 
gradations of His own Spanda energy and the medium His own 
consciousness. The universe is coloured with the dye of its own nature 
(svabhava) by the power of Siva's consciousness (a//). 67 Rajanaka 
Rama says: 

Homage to Him Who paints the picture of the Three Worlds, 
thereby displaying in full evidence His amazing genius {pratibha)\ to 
Sambhu Who is beautiful with the hundreds of appearances laid out by 
the brush of His own unique, subtle and pure energy. 68 

Analogously, at the microcosmic level, all the cognitions and 
emotions, etc., which make up the individual personality form the outward 
flow of essentially introverted consciousness. They are specific pulsations 
(vise$aspanda) or aspects of the universal pulsation (samanyaspanda) of 
pure T consciousness. At the lower level, within the domain of Maya, they 

108 The Doctrine of Vibration 

represent the play in the fettered soul of the three primary qualities (gunas) 
or feeling-tones' which permeate to varying degrees his daily experience. 
These are: 1) Sattva — the quality of goodness and luminosity which 
accompanies blissful experience both aesthetic and spiritual. 2) Rajas — 
the passion or agitation which oscillates between the extremes of 'light' 
and 'darkness' and characterises inherently painful experiences. 
3) Tamas — the torpor and delusion which accompany states of inertia 
and ignorance. 69 The liberated soul recognises that these three are the 
natural and uncreated powers of pure consciousness. For him they are 
manifest respectively as: 1) Sankara 's power of knowledge (jnana) — the 
light of consciousness (prakasa); 2) the power of action (kriya) — the 
reflective awareness of consciousness (vimarsa)\ 3) the power of Maya — 
which does not mean here the world of diversity, but the initial subtle 
distinction which appears between subject and object in pure 
consciousness. 70 

On the lower level, the power of awareness (citisakti) is disturbed 
from its self-absorption and begins to generate thought forms (yikalpa) 
within itself. Consciousness devolves and becomes the thinking mind 
(citta). 11 Sankara assumes the form of a human personality (maya- 
pramatf) residing in a world of limitations and diversity. 72 His conscious- 
ness is extroverted and generates out of itself a subtle body (puryasfaka) 
consisting of the three components of the inner organ of mentation 
(antahkararia) 13 and the five subtle essences (tanmatra) of taste, touch, 
smell, sound and sight. Residing in this subtle body, consciousness 
transmigrates from one physical organism to the next and is seemingly 
affected by Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The higher stage represents a state 
of introversion when the subtle body, with its transient emotions and 
cognitions, is withdrawn into T consciousness and dissolves away. 74 
Sankara is both these aspects simultaneously. K§emaraja criticises the 
Mlmarnsaka who believes that the Self is pure being alone, only 
accidentally associated with transient perception. He explains that this is 
true only of the functions of the subtle body (puryasfaka) when 
experienced as independent of consciousness. 75 According to the Doctrine 
of Vibration, the momentary, transient nature of the object, whether 
mental or physical, 76 does not affect the eternal stability of Sankara, the 
Self. The Fully Awakened (suprabuddha) recognises this truth, while the 
unenlightened are always caught in the outward flow of events. The Fully 
Awakened yogi identifies himself with Sankara, the universal (samanya) 
Spanda nature, and experiences the universal flow of consciousness in all 
the opposites. The unenlightened, however, who wrongly identifies 
himself with the body, is caught by his fascination for the individual 
pulses of emanation, dispersed and separated from each other by the 

Siva and Sakti 109 

tension of the opposites. 

Thus, these particular pulsations are to be totally avoided; they are 
present in the body, etc., which is other than the Self and arise by 
mistaking [the body, etc.,] for the Self. [The particular pulsations of 
consciousness] are the fields of sensory operation (vifaya) of the 
phenomenal (mayiya) subject. Each is distinct from the others as on- 
going fluxes {pravaha) of perceptions {pratyaya) of the type (guna)Tam 
happy' or i am sad\ which are the causes of transmigratory existence. 77 

However, these perceptions can in no way 'be an obstacle for the 
enlightened'. 78 Right and wrong, pleasure and pain, merge and all 
distinctions disappear in the universal vibration of Siva's consciousness. 
Thus we read in the Stanzas on Vibration: 

The streams of the pulsation (spanda) of the qualities and the other 
[principles] 79 are grounded in the universal vibration [of consciousness] 
and so attain to being; therefore they can never obstruct the enlightened. 
Yet for those whose intuition slumbers [these vibrations of conscious- 
ness] tend to disrupt their own state of being (svasthiti) casting them 
down onto the terrible path of transmigration so hard to cross. 80 

The universal vibration of consciousness understood as Siva's perfect 
egoity is contrasted with the fettered soul's conceived notion of himself as 
the body. The latter's ego is a thought-construct (pratyaya) and hence 
limited and artificial. It consists of particular pulsations of consciousness. 
Sankara's ego consciousness, on the contrary, is complete and integral 
(puma). Reflecting on Himself, He is aware that "I am pure consciousness 
and bliss; I am infinite and absolutely free." 81 Immersed in this 
contemplative state (turiya), Siva delights in the awareness "the universe 
in all its diverse aspects arises out of Me, it rests within Me and once it 
disappears, nothing remains [apart from Me]." 82 Thus, this self-awareness 
is the universal Spanda of consciousness. 

Rajanaka Rama explains that the alert yogi in the course of his 
meditative practice gains an insight, by Siva's grace, into the manner in 
which the particular pulsations (visesaspanda) of his consciousness arise 
with their consequent effects. He constantly exerts himself to experience 
the pure universal vibration of his authentic T consciousness and so free 
himself of the disturbing influence (ksobha) the pulsations have on him. 83 
He is always on the alert to discern universal Spanda. 84 Thus reflecting on 
his own nature as the pure awareness that T am' (aham), he distinguishes 
between the particular and generic vibration of consciousness. While the 

110 The Doctrine of Vibration 

una wakened is constantly subject to the ups and downs of these individual 
pulses of consciousness, the awakened, on the contrary, turns even more 
resolutely to his true nature whenever he observes their activity within 
himself. Thus, for him, they serve as a means to liberation. 

Sankara is the ground of both the particular and universal aspect of 
Spanda. Through the discrimination (yiveka) born of the intuition 
(pratibha) of the universal pulsation of 4 I-ness\ contemplative souls 
discover Him to be their own pure subjectivity (upalabdhrta) which, as the 
source of all the individual pulsations of consciousness, is their ultimate 
reality (paramartha) beyond all subject-object distinctions. 85 Reality 
cannot be discovered if we think of it as a 'something' of which we are 
ignorant but may come to know through practice. Reality is an 
experience — the experience of the fully enlightened. 

The Nature of Sakti 

Inherent in Siva is His infinite power. Essentially one with Him, His 
power represents the freedom of His absolute nature from the limitations 
of the finite, and the freedom to assume the form of the finite while abiding 
as the infinite. Freedom from limitations implies the capacity to become 
manifest in countless diverse forms. 86 Ultimately, it is Siva's freedom 
alone which unfolds everywhere as all things. 87 The universe exists by 
virtue of His power which is at once the universe itself and the energy 
which brings it into being. 88 Thus Abhinava says: 

The Lord is free. His freedom expresses itself in various ways. It 
reduces multiplicity into unity by inwardly uniting it and of one it makes 
many. ... He is therefore described as the knowing and acting subject, 
perfectly free in all His activities and all-powerful; this [freedom] alone 
is the essential nature of consciousness. 89 

This freedom is also the inherent nature of the Self — man's authentic 
identity. Perceiving nothing but itself in all things, the Self requires no 
external aid in order to manifest itself in the sphere of objectivity. The ego, 
confined to the physical body and fashioned by the thought-constructs 
generated by a form of consciousness whose focus of attention is 
(apparently) outside itself, is not free. It is a 'non-self dependent on outer 
objectivity. However, even in this condition destitute of power (sakti- 
daridra) the fettered, individualised ego-consciousness partakes of the 
autonomy of the pure conscious Self. One's own authentic nature 

Siva and Sakti 1 1 1 

(svabhava) is independent of objectivity and so must necessarily 
objectivise itself for the world to become manifest without impinging on 
its freedom. 90 Thus the perfect autonomy of the Self is also its universal 
creativity. Absolute independence implies more than a transcendental, 
autonomous state of aloofness. It requires that this autonomy be creative. 
This is the freedom which is Siva's power to do 'that which is most difficult' 
(atidurghatakaritva). His capacity to accomplish that which would be 
logically impossible (yirodhate) in the domain of the empirical (maya), 
governed by the principles of natural law {niyati). In order for Siva to 
manifest as the diverse universe, He must deny His infinite nature and 
appear as finite entities and "what could be more difficult than to negate 
the light of consciousness just when it is shining in full?" 91 Thus, negation 
or limitation is a power of the absolute. Sakti is the principle of negation 
through which Siva conceals His own undivided nature and becomes 
diverse. 92 

As the source of diversity, Sakti is the absolute's creative power of 
Maya. Due to Mayasakti, an initial contrast emerges within universal 
consciousness between the conscious (cit — subject) and the unconscious 
(acit — object). This split goes on to develop into the innumerable 
secondary distinctions which obtain between specific particulars. 93 The 
one power made manifest in this way appears to be diverse due to the 
diverse forms of awareness the subject has of the many names and forms 
of the object. 94 There is no object or event that does not disclose the 
presence of Sakti. "The universe," says the Sivasutra, "is the aggregate of 
[Siva's] powers." 95 Each power is a means, channel or outlet (mukha) 
through which Siva, though formless (anarnsa) and uncreated, becomes 
manifest in a particular form. 96 The very Being (satta) of an entity consists 
essentially of its capacity to function (arthakriya) within the economy of 
consciousness. 97 All things are endowed with Sakti in the form of their 
causal or pragmatic efficacy (karanasamarthya). It is on the basis of an 
entity's causal efficacy that we say that it is what it is and not anything else. 
Thus, there are innumerable powers in every object. Although these 
powers cannot be known directly, they are inferred from their effects. 

Change is the coming to prominence of one power at the expense of 
another. When a jar, for example, comes into being, the pragmatic 
efficacy of the clay ball is superseded by that of the clay jar. 98 In this way 
the abiding fullness (purnata) of the one universal power, in a sense, alters 
as one aspect 'expands' and comes to the fore, while another 'contracts' or 
recedes into the background. 99 Sakti is, in this sense, in a state of perpetual 
pulsation (spanda), expanding and contracting, assuming now this, now 
that form. Thus, this one power appears to be many due to the diverse 
results of its activity. 100 Although reality is one, it performs many 

1 12 The Doctrine of Vibration 

functions. Various aspects of the one universal potency appear in each 
individual entity as its specific functions and so the ignorant wrongly 
assume them to be divided from one another. 101 The enlightened, however, 
discover the universe to be power and thus undivided and at one with Siva, 
their authentic nature as the possessor of power. 102 

Thus, Sakti is both immanent when actively giving rise to its effects, 
and transcendent when considered to be the source of its many powers. 
Spanda is both the universal vibration of energy (samanyaspanda) and its 
particular pulsations (visesaspanda). Every power is like a pane of 
coloured glass through which the light of the absolute shines and assumes 
the form of the sparkling variegations of the manifest universe. The 
principal forms of power can be classified into three basic categories 
according to the sphere in which they operate, namely: 

1) The Sphere of Siva-Consciousness. The powers here include: a) Siva's 
Divine Attributes. These divine attributes are five: omnipresence, 
eternality, freedom of will, omniscience and omnipotence. They 
correspond to Siva's powers of consciousness, bliss, will, knowledge 
and action. 

b) Siva's Cosmic Functions. These cosmic functions are also five 
and are implemented by Siva's five powers to create, maintain, destroy, 
conceal Himself and grace by revealing Himself. 

c) Siva's Creative Energies. The principal creative power in the 
sphere of manifestation is Siva's power of Maya, which is an aspect of His 
power of action. Other aspects of His power of action are Nirmanasakti, 
the power to fashion particular entities out of His own undifferentiated 
consciousness, and Kalasakti, the power of time through which Siva 
creates the temporal order and hence the universe of change and 
becoming. 103 

2) The Sphere of Cognitive Consciousness. The preceding sphere can be 
said to have two aspects — inner and outer. The former corresponds to 
Siva's divine attributes and the latter to His cosmic functions and creative 
energies. Similarly, at this level, the inner aspect is mental in which operate 
the power of cognition and memory along with the power to differentiate 
individual perceptions. The outer aspect corresponds to the powers 
of the senses. 

3) The Sphere of Individualised Consciousness. In the individualised 
consciousness sphere the power of consciousness operates through the 

Siva and Sakti 113 

individual subjects and objects it engenders. The inner aspect corresponds 
to the many experiencing subjects, all of which are forms of the power of 
self-awareness. 104 In addition, we have the waking and other states which, 
as modalities of consciousness, are also powers. Again, there are the forces 
which help to elevate the soul and develop his consciousness to a more 
expanded state as well as those that, on the contrary, restrict it. To the 
outer aspect of individualised consciousness corresponds external 
objectivity, which includes the categories of existence, worlds and cosmic 
forces that bind them into a coherent whole. Belonging to all three spheres 
both in their inner and outer aspects is the power of speech. At the highest 
level it is the pure awareness Siva has of His own nature. In the lower 
spheres it is the silent inner speech of thought as well as the manifest 
articulate speech of daily life. Thus, Sakti manifests as everything that can 
be denoted by speech as well as every form of speech. 

These three spheres correspond to three aspects of Sakti: Supreme 
(Para), Middling (Parapara) and Lower (Apara). Worshipped as three 
goddesses in the Trika school, this Triad is one of the most essentially 
defining features of this form of Saivism and its earlier prototypes in the 
Agamas. Ksemaraja sees in this Triad aspects or phases of Spanda. 105 
Accordingly, we turn now to a brief description of these three important 

The Supreme Power (Para Sakti). This energy operates on the Supreme 
Summit of Being (paraka$(ha). There consciousness reflects upon itself as 
the universal ego (purnahanta\ which is the ultimate ground of all 
things 106 and abode of rest, 107 where everything is one and beyond all 
relative distinctions. 108 Knowledge and action, unsullied by their objects, 
abide here as Light and awareness. At this level, awareness (vimarsa) 
includes the Light of consciousness (prakasa) and they are one. 109 
Consciousness and its content merge like water in the sea or a flame in 
fire. 110 We can distinguish between two aspects of this energy correspond- 
ing to two aspects of the supreme state: 

The first aspect is the supreme power unsullied by the products of its 
activity. This is the pure freedom of consciousness. It is the pure intention 
(icchamatra) through which the absolute affirms its absolute Being 
unconditioned by the cosmic Totality generated by it. As such, it is the 
primordial vibration (adyaspanda) of consciousness free of all restrictions 
on its activity. It generates and contains within itself the innumerable 
Benevolent (aghora) powers of consciousness that bestow the fruits of 
realisation to the enlightened yogi. ' l ] 
if) The purely transcendental state of the first aspect turns to immanence 

1 14 The Doctrine of Vibration 

when this will is disturbed and aroused out of its quiescent state. The 
emanation of Totality dawns on the horizon of consciousness as its 
potential goal and the will to existence spontaneously presents itself as 
the exertive force that actuates it. It now acts as the Lordship (isikd) of 
consciousness which governs the universe held within it. For the 
awakened yogi it operates as the actuality of a conscious exertion to 
make the oneness of the absolute apparent. Thus it sets into operation 
all its Benevolent (aghora) powers to guide the yogi's way along the 
path to realisation. 112 

The Middling Power (Parapara tokti). The Intermediate level is that of 
unity-in-difference, between the lower level of the awareness of division 
(bhedadrtfi) and that of unity (abhedadr^i) at the summit of conscious- 
ness. Here the universe is experienced within consciousness as one with it 
while maintaining itself distinct from it, like a reflection in a mirror. The 
form awareness assumes here is 'I [am] this [universe]' (ahamidam). ni 
Subject and object are equal in status; they are distinct but not divided 
and experienced as the two aspects of awareness, namely, knowledge 
and action. 114 

This level is the point of contact between the absolute and its 
manifestations. It is the sphere of relatedness. Practical life is based on the 
relationship between immanence and transcendence and that between 
the elements of diversity. 115 Thus the energy which operates at this level 
is also the basis of all empirically definable experience. 116 By the power 
of awareness in this intermediate state we can make contact with the 
undivided unity of pure consciousness while we are on the level of 
diversity. However, the power of awareness operating here can also 
generate the Fierce (ghora) energies of consciousness that block the path 
to liberation by engendering attachment to the fruits of action, whether 
good or bad. If through this power the yogi realises the oneness of 
consciousness and its manifestations, he is elevated, but if he fails to do so, 
this same power throws him down. Thus the Intermediate power plays a 
dual role by illumining both the 'Pure Path' to liberation and the 'Impure 
Path' of bondage. 117 This ambiguity reflects the paradoxical nature of 
the absolute's knowledge of the universe it has willed into existence, as 
either one with it or separate from it. From the point of view of the 
absolute these two are complementary modes of experience, but from the 
point of view of the relative, knowledge of difference is binding, while 
knowledge of unity is liberating. 

The Inferior Power (A para sakti). This energy operates in the Root (mula) 

Siva and Sakti 115 

of consciousness where objectivity predominates, 118 and the inner 
awareness (jnana) of the Self takes second place to outer activity. 119 This 
is the level of diversity where the beauty of the world picture, charming 
with its many details, is fully displayed: 

The lower (apara) level corresponds to the extension of relative 
distinctions (bheda) which, like a [fine crop] of tender sprouts, are born 
of the potency of the Supreme Lord's contemplation (vimarsa) of His 
transcendental Light. It is the illusion of daily life (vibhrama) embossed 
with this cosmic multiplicity, pleasantly various like a work of art. 120 

Limitations which the Sun of consciousness imposes on itself shroud 
it like dark storm clouds. Subjective awareness (aharpvimarsa) contracts, 
conditioned by the body in which it has taken up residence and perceives 
particulars (both individual subjects and objects) as cut off from one 
another and from itself. Even so, the awareness it has of its own nature 
abides as the Lower power, pulsing and brilliant like a streak of 
lightning. 121 For those ignorant of its true nature this power operates as 
Maya and generates the 'Extremely Fierce' (ghoratara) energies of 
consciousness that lay hold of the soul and throw him down to its lower 
levels. 122 However, to one who experiences the infinite consciousness of 
his own nature and Maya as its eternal freedom, it bestows both yogic 
power (siddhi) and liberation (mukti). m The Stanzas on Vibration 

This, Siva's power of action, is binding when residing in the fettered 
soul (pasuvartini)\ [but], when [its true nature] is understood and it is 
set on its own path it bestows success in Yoga {siddhi). 124 

According to the Doctrine of Vibration, the soul is liberated by 
recognising that 'the whole universe is the result of the activity of the 
[Spanda] principle.' 125 Conversely, by being ignorant of this he is 
bound. 126 Failing to contemplate his own Spanda nature, its activity 
functions as this Lower power and engenders gross action. 127 This breaks 
up the unity of his consciousness, 128 splitting up and obscuring it by the 
tension between the contrasting responses to what he seeks to acquire 
(upadeya) or give up (heya). m The universal act of self-awareness 
(purnahanta) assumes the form of a 'drop of egoity' (ahantavipruf) which 
animates the gross and subtle body. 13 ° In this way Apara sakti pervades 
the vital forces (jivakala) operating in the body. 131 Once the ignorance of 
Maya has been overcome, the yogi recognises his oneness with Siva by the 

116 The Doctrine of Vibration 

power of his own self-awareness (svasamvedana). He ascends to the plane 
of the Well Awakened and, having achieved all that is to be achieved 
(krtakftya), attains both the supreme perfection (siddhi) of the realisation 
of his own Lordship and the lower perfections (aparasiddhi) of all the 
yogic powers (vibhuti) that accompany it. He recognises that even his 
lower embodied awareness is Para, the Supreme Goddess Who 
contemplates the pure non-dual consciousness which is the innate nature 
of all things, and the Light of the Supreme Lord. 132 Pervading Siva, this 
power pervades the universe. The yogi thus experiences Siva-conscious- 
ness and cosmic consciousness simultaneously and this power is then said 
to be 'set on its own Path 1 . 133 In other words, it resides in one's own Siva- 
nature, on the plane of absolute unity {atyantabhedadasa) where 
awareness no longer moves to any other object (vi$aya). The Lower is then 
one with the Supreme power through which all things are experienced in 
their true universal (sdmdnya) nature as pure consciousness. 134 

The harmonious union (samarasya) of these three planes are 
Bhairava's supreme glory, the radiance of the fullness of His power 
(purriasakti) 135 which fills the entire universe. Together, this triad 
constitutes the Deity's universal experience (bhogya). By sharing in it 
the yogi comes to realise the unsullied bliss of the absolute (anuttara- 
nanda), the supreme form of Spanda. 136 


Sakti Cakra: The Wheel 
of Energies 

As we have seen, the ceaseless flow of consciousness perpetually 
generates new forms within it as some of its powers come to the fore and 
become manifestly active, while others abide in a potential state within it. 
In this way novel patterns of energy spontaneously form on the surface of 
consciousness through its inherent activity, as do waves on the surface of 
the sea. 1 The arising and subsiding of each wave of cosmic manifestation 
is marked by a regular sequence (krama) of metaphysical events. 
Following one after another in recurrent cycles, each sequence is aptly 
symbolised by a rotating wheel (sakticakra), the spokes of which are the 
aspects of the divine creative energy of consciousness brought into play as 
the wheel revolves. Thus these Wheels collectively represent the primal 
form or 'archetype-field structure' of all experience. They are infinite in 
number and the number of spokes in each can vary from one to infinity in 
accord with the diversity of the configurations of power which form at 
each stage along the cycle of cosmic manifestation. Scripture says: 

These powers become diverse, increasing or decreasing in number, 
etc., in accord with the divine will (svatantrya). In this way, Bhairava 
becomes manifest as the 'Solitary Hero', as the couple {yamala), as three, 
four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven powers, as the Lord of the 
great Wheel of twelve, a thousand or infinite spokes. [Thus He] ultimate- 
ly unfolds as the master, endowed with all power, of the Wheel of the All. 2 

1 18 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Like the circles of light produced by a whirling firebrand (aldfacakra), 
the cycles of divine creative activity manifest as a single Act. As each 
Wheel rotates, one power after another becomes active, taking over from 
the one that went before it and blending into the one that follows. The 
flow of the energy of consciousness moves round the circle in harmony 
with the rhythm of its pulsation. Thus the Wheels of Energy are the 
vibrant radiance of Bhairava, the light of consciousness. 3 They represent 
the plenitude (purnata) of the absolute. K§emaraja explains that: "the 
universe is established and exists because its manifest form is one with 
the inner Light of the Lord. Hence it is said to be the Wheel of Energies. 4 

The Doctrine of Vibration teaches that there is an essential identity 
between the inner world of the subject and the outer world of the object. 5 
The universe is equally the outer physical world and the inner world of 
mind and body. 6 Thus the emanation of these Wheels corresponds to the 
creation of both these worlds. 7 Accordingly, Ksemaraja explains that the 
many deities well known to those learned in Agamic lore, grouped and 
worshipped in circles, represent the biological components of the body 
and the transient moods, thoughts, etc., of the mind. 8 Sankara is the Lord 
of the Wheel (cakresa) and hence of both the macro- and microcosm. He 
is the 'source of the power of the Wheel of Energies'. 9 The Wheels of power 
unfold within Siva's infinite consciousness, evolving as they do to higher 
degrees of complexity, and then once more dissolve into the undivided 
unity of His consciousness. They are generated and withdrawn in 
harmony with the evolution and involution of Siva's Spanda energy. This 
expands and contracts at the transcendental level, beyond the categories 
of existence (tattva), generating as it does so, all these powers. 10 
Abhinava explains: 

[We can see the many colours] white, red and yellow of the peacock's 
feathers when they are unfurled, but not when they are folded together. 
Similarly, if the Lord of the Wheel does not unfold [His powers, He] 
merges with [His own nature] full of subtle consciousness. He manifests 
variously through the unfolding and contraction [of His power]. Thus 
by the contraction of one [aspect] and through the unfolding of another 
[He] appears in [many] forms ranging from the single spoked Wheel to 
the Wheel of a thousand spokes. 11 

To witness this expansion and contraction and to worship its diverse 
aspects as Goddesses seated in the circles generated by this activity and 
recognised to be one's own authentic nature, is to worship the Supreme 
Lord in the fullness of mystic absorption (turiya). 12 Each Wheel rotates, 
radiant with the light of consciousness, in a space or spiritual sky (vyomari) 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 1 19 

of its own. Pure consciousness (samvid) is the universal space or Great 
Sky (mahdvyoman) 13 which embraces all the spiritual extensions which 
make room for the unfolding of every configuration of experience. Called 
the 'Sky of Siva' (sivavyoman), the 'Abode of Brahman' (brahmasthdna) 
and the 'Abode of the Self (dtmasthdna), it is at once Bhairava and the 
supreme form of Sakti (pardkundalini)™ equally consciousness and its 
contents. In a sense everything, including consciousness, is empty. As 
Abhinava says: 

The [dawn] sky, though one, appears radiant white, red and blue, 
and the clouds accordingly seem various; so pure, free consciousness 
shines brilliantly with its countless forms, though they are nothing at all. ,5 

Sakti represents the all-encompassing fullness (purnatd) of the 
absolute, the ever-shifting power of awareness actively manifesting as the 
Circle of Totality (visvacakra). Siva is the Void (sunyatd) of absolute 
consciousness — its supportless (nirdlambd) and thought-free (nirvikalpa) 
nature. Integral and free, Siva, the abode of the Void, dissolves everything 
into Himself and brings all things into being. 16 Fullness pours into 
emptiness and emptiness pervades fullness. Penetrating suddenly into the 
fullness of consciousness, all things are at once made part of its absolute 
and undefinable nature. "[For the yogi who] penetrates into the non-dual 
Void," teaches the Vijndnabhairava, "his true nature (at man) is there 
made manifest." 17 The Void actively assimilates all diversity. In the pure 
subject the flux of objective perceptions dissolves away. The external 
personality merges in the supreme subject and the seed of all future 
diversification is destroyed, thereby freeing the yogi of all causal and 
karmic necessity: "Well concealed, and attainable only with great effort, 
is the subtle Void, the chief root of liberation". 18 

To experience this emptiness, the yogi must penetrate into the initial 
instant of perception (prdthamikdlocana) when he directly perceives the 
object and no dichotomyzing thoughts have yet arisen in his mind. In this 
way he finds the centre (madhyamapada) between one thought and the 
next or between two perceptions. 19 In the Heart of his own consciousness, 
apparent in the Centre, he experiences the initial expansion (unmesa) of 
awareness at its most intense, just as it is about to blossom into the 
diversity of thought. 20 All objectivity is then suddenly dissipated and the 
yogi shares in the extraordinary sense of wonder (camatkdra) the Lord of 
Consciousness Himself experiences when he perceives the ideal universe 
within Himself on the point of emergence. Through this sudden eruption 
into reality, brought about by a supreme act of grace, the yogi is instantly 
absorbed in the fully expanded state of the Great Void (mahdsiinya). 21 He 

120 The Doctrine of Vibration 

then moves freely, without obstruction or effort, in the Sky of Conscious- 
ness (cidakasa) beyond time and space, at one with the power of awareness 
which wanders there in its infinite freedom. When all supports have fallen 
away, the yogi experiences the Void of the primal vibration (spanda) of 
the absolute as a single, undivided mass of consciousness (cidekaghana). 
The rays of the Wheels of his powers, both physical and mental, are drawn 
into the vibrating emptiness and the yogi is plunged in the direct actuality 
of the Present. He thus frees himself from the tyranny of the flow of time 
from the past to the future. 

Having checked the rays of one's own Wheel of Energies and drunk 
the incomparable nectar [of self-realisation], one remains fully satisfied 
in the [eternal] present, unconditioned by the two times [of past and 
future]. 22 

Merged in the incessant systole and diastole of the Heart of 
consciousness, the yogi is no longer a victim of time but its master. He is 
the conqueror of time, one 'who delights in the relish of devouring time' 
(kalagrasarasika) and assimilating it into his own eternal consciousness: 

[For the yogi] past and future are not different from the present; 
it is the present itself which becomes divided by the past and the future. 
When they no longer exist, the present also ceases to exist. The yogi, 
resting even for an instant is this ocean of consciousness, intent on 
devouring time, becomes instantly a 'Wanderer in the Sky' (khecara) 
[and is liberated]. 23 

According to the Svacchandabhairavatantra, there are various 
degrees of Voidness. The yogi must traverse them all if his extroverted 
consciousness is to be brought completely to rest in its innate nature. The 
unchanging (akrama) Goddess of Consciousness, the embodiment of 
mystic absorption (turiya), then appears within the Great Pervasion 
(mahavyaptf) of the Supreme Void. 24 This, the Void beyond all degrees 
of emptiness is called 'Fullness' (asunya — literally, the 'non-void 9 ). It is 
described as the compact mass of consciousness and bliss which is the pure 
dynamic Being (sattamatrd) of both the existent and the non-existent. 25 It 
absorbs all the levels of Voidness and contains them all, pervading them 
as does oil sesame seeds. 26 The 'Void beyond Mind' which precedes it is 
the transcendental experience of Siva. If the yogi manages to rise beyond 
this transcendental emptiness, he attains the highest Void which is that of 
the supreme form of Siva (paramasivd). Here he experiences a state of 
transcendence in immanence and immanence in transcendence. 27 Inner 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 121 

and outer become one in the unifying experience of undivided conscious- 
ness. Voidness dissolves into Voidness until the yogi reaches the highest 
level of undifferentiated consciousness. Free of thought, beyond all 
distinctions of immanence and transcendence, Siva and Sakti, 28 he attains 
the supreme place of rest (yisrantisthana). 

When, by means of this practice, the unfolding universe dissolves 
away in the Void and all that qualifies it in the Sky, and when this Void 
[itself] dissolves away [like a drop of water in the sea], the Good 
(anamaya) alone abides. This, O Brahmin, is the essence of the true 
teachings. 29 

In one of the few places where the author of the Stanzas on Vibration 
takes time to indulge in polemics, he points out that the Voidness (sunyatd) 
of the vibrating power (spanda) of consciousness, manifest when all 
diversity disappears, should not be confused with an empty 'nothing'. The 
universe of diversity is not annihilated, but recognised to be one. It is void 
in the sense that it is universally manifest and hence has no distinguishing 
features. Eternal and free of the contraries, it cannot be contrasted with 
anything else. 30 Intuited as the throb of one's own awareness, it is never 
known objectively and hence is essentially undefinable. 31 Although it is 
said to be the destruction of all objectivity, the Void is not a state of 'non- 
being' (abhava). Ksemaraja quotes the Svacchandatantra as saying: 

The non-void is described as the Void while the latter is nothing at 
all. O Goddess, that is considered to be nothing wherein all phenomena 
(bhava) are destroyed [by losing their phenomenal nature]. 32 

There can be no place anywhere in experience where we can discover 
that which is not. The light of consciousness illumines even that which we 
understand to be non-existent. 33 Being and non-being are merely 
conceived distinctions; both are qualities superimposed on that which is 
presented directly to consciousness. The absence or non-existence of an 
object in a particular place is just as much a positive reality as is its 
presence. Both the perception of its presence as well as its absence are 
equally apparent to consciousness. 34 

Although the non-dualist Saiva agrees with the Buddhist who 
maintains that the true nature of things is essentially unspecifiable 
(anirdesya), he does not agree that all determination of the emptiness of 
ultimate reality is an error. Ksemaraja explains that the highest level of 
Voidness is the emptiness of reflective awareness, the pure undifferentiated 

122 The Doctrine of Vibration 

pulsation of the power of consciousness, grounded in the consciousness 
and bliss of the Self — the Supreme Lord (paramesvara) of the universe. 35 
If the Buddhist denies the existence of a perceiving subjectivity, how can 
he say that he has experienced emptiness? An experience of Voidness 
devoid of the awareness of Self is, from this point of view, little better than 
that of deep sleep (susupti). But even then a total loss of all subjective 
awareness is impossible. Even in deep sleep, or in certain states of 
contemplative absorption accompanied by ego-loss, some subjective 
awareness must persist. It would be foolish to believe, say the Stanzas on 
Vibration, that the subject ceases to exist in these states just because the 
effort normally directed towards perceiving his object ceases. 36 Once we 
have fallen deeply asleep there would be no way we could wake up if the 
subject who directs the movement of awareness out to the objective world 
ceased to exist. Moreover, if ego-loss is an experience, there must be 
someone who experiences it. 37 When we awake from deep sleep, we 
remember that we were sleeping; we can recall that something happened 
although we do not know what it was. We could not therefore have been 
totally unconscious. 38 

Moreover, any state liable to subsequent recall as an event in the past 
cannot be ultimate. The experience of 'I am' (aharri) pervades all possible 
states whether they be the deeper ones of contemplative absorption 
(samadhi) or those closer to the surface consciousness (yyutthand) of the 
waking state. The supreme state is uncreated (akrtrima) and full of 
consciousness and action 39 while all the lower states are transitory 
(kadacitka) and creations of the higher. The emptiness of ego-loss 
experienced in certain types of absorption are liable to subsequent recall 
and are therefore transitory, artificial states which must be transcended to 
achieve the uncreated voidness of pure T consciousness which, because 
it is always present, can never be recollected. 40 Far from being the ultimate 
reality, the emptiness of ego-loss can be an obstacle in the way of attaining 
the supreme realisation. 41 It separates the lower levels of consciousness 
based on subject-object distinctions from the higher level of pure T 
consciousness, the fullness (asunya) of the empty (sunya). Unlike the lower 
void of ego-loss, the Supreme Sky (paravyoman) of T consciousness is 
brimming over with countless power of which Siva is the master. Thus 
Siva, Whose body is pure consciousness (vijnanadeha), 42 is the Lord of 
the Wheel of Energies, each of which represent aspects of His divine 
majesty, the power of His sovereignty (aisvarya) and freedom (svatantrya). 
As His Wheel of Energies revolves, the universe is created and destroyed 43 
manifesting in this way His power. The Liberated, at one with Siva, share 
in His freedom while those ignorant of their true identity are caught in the 
movement of this Wheel and so bound to the recurrent round of birth 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 123 

and death: 44 

Happy is the child who sucks at its mother's breast; it is the same 
breast it fed from in a former life. The husband takes his pleasure in his 
wife's belly, he was conceived there in the past! 

He who was the father is today the son and that son, when tomorrow 
comes, will be father in his turn. 

Such is the flow of Saipsara: men are like buckets around a 
waterwheel! 45 

We experience this creation and destruction, this ceaseless coming 
and going, as binding only if we fail to recognise that everything abides 
within the light of consciousness. 46 If we realise that all this is merely the 
play of the power of consciousness — the rotation of the Wheel of 
Energies — the world no longer appears to us to be Samsara. Abhinava 

It is Siva Himself, of unimpeded will and pellucid consciousness, 
Who is even [now] sparkling in my heart. It is His highest Sakti Herself 
Who is ever playing at the edge of my senses. The entire world glows at 
one with that bliss [of 'I-ness']. Indeed, I know not what the word 
'Satpsara ' refers to. 47 

In our failure to contemplate the Lordship of our own nature, 
consciousness generates thought forms (yikalpa) which rise and fall as the 
Wheel of Energies rotates and we are caught in the seemingly endless 
wandering from birth to birth. Bhagavatotpala quotes Naradasamgraha 
as saying: "all thought is samsara, there is no bondage except thought.'* 48 
Trapped by thought on the periphery of the movement of the Wheel, we 
lose hold of the inwardly unchanging nature of reality and are entangled 
in the fickle, transient and diverse nature of its outward appearance. 49 
Conversely, when through an act of self-awareness, the restless movement 
of the mind (citta) is quelled and thought turns in on itself, the yogi realises 
the true nature of Samsara to J>e the Wheel of Energies and is no longer 
bound, even in the midst of the change and diversity of the world. 

Worthy of attainment is that reality in which the yogi, brilliant with 
the rays of [his] consciousness fully formed , is established . [It is] the fully 
evident arising of an experience free of worldly bonds {bhavavandhyo- 
daya). [It takes place] even while the Self, the radiance of one's own 
conscious nature, the internal senses which aid it, the group of external 
senses which depend on it for their activity, taste and the other objects of 

124 The Doctrine of Vibration 

the senses, are [all] fully active. 50 

Although the Wheels of Energies are innumerable, just as the aspects 
of Sarikara's ever emergent power of awareness are beyond number 
(kalana), 51 only a few are important in the Doctrine of Vibration. 
According to the Krama doctrine adopted by Ksemaraja in his 
commentary on the Stanzas, foremost among them is a cycle of twelve 
phases. It represents the twelve aspects of ' KalasarikarsinV (The 
Attractress of Time), the Goddess of Consciousness. Technically called 
4 the Wheel of the Absolute' (anuttaracakra), all the other Wheels emerge 
from it and are all eventually dissolved in it. 52 Subject, means of 
knowledge, object and pure cognitive awareness (pramiti) are symbolised 
by Wheels containing eight, twelve, sixteen and four elements respectively. 
The twelve-spoked Wheel thus represents the cognitive cycle (pramana- 
cakra) and is symbolised by the sun which passes through the twelve signs 
of the zodiac in the course of a year. 53 

This Wheel represents, amongst other things, the twelve senses, that 
is, the intellect (buddhi) and mind (manas) together with the five organs 
of knowledge (jnanendriya) and the five organs of action (karmendriya). 54 
It also represents the twelve vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet (excluding 
r, f, J, J,), symbolising the processes and forces operating directly within 
Siva-consciousness (rather than Sakti, the universe, which is symbolised 
by the consonants). 55 Again, the twelve phases represent the three 
goddesses Para, Parapara and Apara, each subject to a cycle of arising 
(srsfi), persistence (sthiti) and withdrawal (samhara), together with the 
manifestation of their own undefinable nature (anakhya). As phases in 
the cognitive cycle, the twelve powers are worshipped as twelve Kalis, 
normally divided into three groups of four. They are the subject, the 
means of knowledge and the object, each appearing in the process of 
emergence, persistence, withdrawal and an undefinable state (anakhya) 
beyond them. 56 According to Ksemaraja, this cycle gives rise to a four-fold 
cycle of cosmic creation and destruction consisting of: 

1) The initial exertion (udyoga) that arises within the body of the 
absolute that leads to its transformation into the universe. 

2) The actual manifestation (avabhasana) of the universe within 
the absolute. 

3) The relishing (carvana) or reflective awareness of the appearing of 
the universe within consciousness. 

4) The destruction (vilapana) or withdrawal of the universe back into 
the absolute when it resumes its pristine form as the radiant, Undefinable 
power (anakhyasakti) of pure consciousness. 57 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 125 

This is just one possible way of analysing the Wheel's motion. In fact, 
it unfolds in many ways, both sequentially and instantaneously, 
assimilating into itself as it does so the subject, object, means of 
knowledge and resultant cognitive awareness. The yogi can, by close 
attention (avadhana), observe the movement or Spanda of this Wheel in 
the course of each act of cognition, as it moves from the centre or 'Heart' 
(hfdaya) of pure consciousness out to the periphery, where it becomes 
manifest as sense objects. In this way the yogi comes to realise that all is 
contained within, and generated through, the cycle of consciousness 
(samvic cakra). Every sound, taste, smell — anything he then perceives — 
occasions in him a profound state of contemplative absorption. Abhinava 
describes the sequence (krama) of events in the process of this realisation 
as follows: 

This Wheel of the Absolute (anuttaracakra) flows out from the 
Heart throught the void of the eyes, etc., onto each sense object. The rays 
of this Wheel progressively engender the Fire [of the subject], Moon [of 
the object] and Sun [of the means of knowledge], in [each phase] of the 
destruction, creation and persistence of the external world. In this way 
[the yogi] should contemplate [how everything] in the field of sound, etc., 
becomes one with this Wheel as it falls upon it along the path of the 
voidness of the sense of hearing, etc.. This Wheel, which is all things, like 
a universal monarch, [is followed by its vassals, the senses] wherever it 
falls in this [all-embracing] process. In this way the Cosmic Path 
(adhvari) [of emanation] spontaneously merges with the great Wheel of 
Bhairava and [His] surrounding [goddesses] of consciousness. Then, 
even though the universe has merged [into it] leaving behind nothing but 
its faint latent trace, contemplate this great whirling Wheel as the 
outpouring (ucchalatta) of one's own nature. When all the fuel [of 
objectivity] is consumed [in the fire of the Wheel] and its latent traces are 
destroyed, contemplate the Wheel on the verge of extinction, in the 
process of extinction [and finally as totally] extinct. In this way, by this 
meditation, the universe dissolves into the Wheel and this into 
consciousness, which finally shines forth void of all objects. The nature 
of consciousness is such, however, that there is again a new creation, for 
such [is the activity of the] Goddess of Consciousness (cinmahesvarl). He 
who every instant dissolves the universe thus into his own consciousness 
and then emits it is eternally identified with Bhairava. 58 

Abhinava adds that this process is common, in its basic form, to all the 
meditations leading to the realisation of the absolute (anuttara). 59 
Moreover, the yogi can meditate on other Wheels apart from this one and 
still be graced with the same fruits. 60 To be successful, however, he must 

126 The Doctrine of Vibration 

identify with the Lord of the Wheel Who resides in its centre as the pure T 
consciousness, which is the impelling force (anupranitva) behind the 
emanation and movement of its powers. Ksemaraja refers to Him as the 
'Churning Bhairava' (manthanabhairava) because 'He engenders the 
creation, etc., of all things [by arousing] and churning His own power.' 61 
Siva churns and whirls the energies around Himself, creating and 
destroying the universe through the pulsation (spanda) of His universal 
will 62 while He abides unmoving (acala) in the Heart — the centre of 
the Wheel. 

He, Siva, the One of unmeasured (akalita) greatness pulsing and 
self-established, measures out (kalayati) in the Heart, the universe from 
Earth to Sadasiva, and by diverse conjunctions [of aspects of His nature], 
emanates the wonderful sport of emission and withdrawal. 63 

In the centre, Siva is free in the greatness of the Wheel: He is not a 
slave of its operations. 64 Fully Awakened, He sees and contemplates its 
movement and effects in all of life's daily activities. The individual soul, 
bound by the Wheel of the world and of the body, is liberated the instant 
he discriminates between himself as the embodied and the 'body-world' he 
lives in. 65 By experiencing the entire universe ranging from Earth, the 
grossest, to Siva, the subtlest, he recognises that he is Siva, 66 the pure T 
consciousness which eternally delights in the play of the Wheel. 

Sambhu triumphs [over all] by the glory of [His] incomparable and 
undivided Bliss. He, like a newly wedded husband, constantly gazes at 
His beloved power Who, although inwardly undivided, dances in many 
ways outside [Her] own nature, [Her] diverse forms and seemingly new 
aspects conceived in the varied light of thought. 67 

Sharing in Siva's experience of Sakti we participate in His Lordship 
and are free to create and destroy the subtle body of the mind and 
sensations (puryasfaka) and so become the Lord of the Wheel. The 
Stanzas on Vibration declare: 

But when [the mind of the fettered] is firmly established in one place, 
then generated and withdrawn [by him at will], his state becomes that of 
the [universal] subject. Thus he becomes the Lord of the Wheel. 68 

Ksemaraja, in his Heart of Recognition {Pratyabhijnahrdaya), 
explains where the 'one place' the yogi should fix his attention is found: 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 127 

Then, by becoming absorbed in the integral 'I-ness' which is the bliss 
of the light of consciousness and the power of the Great Mantra, [the 
yogi] achieves mastery of the circle of the deities of his'own consciousness 
who engender perpetually the emanation and withdrawal of all things. 69 

To become Lord of the Wheel and be liberated, the yogi must become 
one with the absolute (anuttara), identified with the power residing in the 
space of the Heart of consciousness. The yogi who grasps the true nature 
of the absolute need not know or practice anything else, not even 
contemplation of the Wheel of Energies. 70 The yogi who is unable to 
merge directly with the absolute is instructed to penetrate the Centre of the 
Wheel by contemplating its universal activity and concentrate on the great 
whirling Wheel as the vibration of his own nature. 71 Through the power of 
the Great Mantra — T (aham) — the yogi must vibrate the circle of powers, 
thus saturating the rays of his own consciousness with the plenitude of 
self-awareness. Whatever he perceives is then filled with the pulsation 
(spanda) of the light of his self-realisation: 

[The yogi experiences] stability, satisfaction and merger in the Light 
to the degree in which consciousness deploys itself and progressively 
covers objectivity. [He experiences] there the vibration which allows him 
to realise the supreme freedom everywhere pervaded by this essence. 72 

The unfolding of the Wheel of Energies confers upon the yogi the 
enjoyment (bhoga) and bliss (anandd) of cosmic consciousness. When the 
Wheel contracts, the yogi's individuality fuses with pure consciousness 
and he experiences its unconditioned freedom (svatantrya). In these two 
movements yogic powers (siddhi) are conferred by the particular waves of 
energy (visesaspanda) of the universal vibration (samanyaspandd) of 
consciousness which is the source of liberation (moksa). Mastery over all 
things and the realisation of the oneness of consciousness are thus achieved 
by discovering oneself to be the Lord of the Wheel (cakresvaratvasiddhi). 
This liberating realisation issues from a state of uninterrupted absorption 
in the vibration (spanda) of consciousness both in the ecstasy of 
contemplation 'with the eyes closed' (nimilanasamadhi), and when the 
yogi has risen out of it (vyutthdna), to regain the more normal waking 
consciousness which for him is transformed into a state of contemplation 
'with the eyes open' (unmilanasamadhi). Thus, whether his eyes are open 
when awake, or closed when sleeping or meditating, the yogi merges with 
the pulsation of consciousness which moves like a fire-stick between these 
two poles generating in him the brilliance of enlightened consciousness 73 

128 The Doctrine of Vibration 

and he is liberated while still residing in the body: 

If [the yogi] resides without a break for three hours in his own nature 
which shines once [and forever], is free of diversity and is absorbed in 
contemplation, the mothers Brahmi, etc., and the mistresses of yoga 
realised by practice centred on that Wheel together with the Heroes, 
Aghora, etc., the Lords of the Heroes and the nine-fold god, etc., all 
become fully manifest and the perfections (siddhi), which are the powers 
generated by practising [attention to the movement of] that Wheel, are 
attained. These [powers] possess Bhairava's energy. The yogi becomes 
powerful through it and by virtue of the SakinI energies associated with 
it, various according to [their] diverse forms ranging from Khecarl 
onwards. All these liberate him through this very body itself and 
[bestow upon him] Supreme Perfection (paramasiddhi) [in the practice 
of yoga which is the realisation of his immanence everywhere] in the 
cosmic order ranging from Earth to Siva. 74 

Thus for the enlightened yogi, the power (prabhavd) of the Wheel of 
Energies is the Light (prabha) which illumines his mind and the divine 
breath of the spirit which blows (vdti) within him as pure — T-ness\ It 
impels his every act and perception. Presiding over and sanctifying his 
mind and body, it brings all things to rest within his own nature. 75 Again, 
it bestows upon the yogi "the ability to ascend in terms of his own essential 
nature to ever higher levels by foresaking the lower ones." 76 The yogi 
penetrates into the Great Light which is his free, undivided nature through 
the divine rays of his consciousness gathered together in the Wheel of 
Energies. 77 The Wheel is thus the source of the spiritual power the yogi 
enjoys when he achieves the object of his meditation through grace and 
his purified intuition. 78 But as Ksemaraja is quick to point out: 

It is only a few who, [blessed with] the wealth of absolute 
contemplation (anuttarasamadhi), ascend intuitively (dhi$and) into 
the light of Sarikara which is their own true nature and lordship of the 
Wheel of consciousness; others, afflicted by embodied egoity, do 
not do so. 79 

The Wheel of Energies can function in two opposite ways. It can 
either be the source of bondage for those deluded by Maya, or else 
represent the powers the enlightened achieve through yogic practice. 80 
The same forces which bind and condition man can also lead him to the 
higher levels of enlightenment. That which binds the ignorant sets free 
the man of wisdom. 81 We shall see how this works in the following 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 1 29 

account of the Wheels of Energies contemplated in the Spanda tradition 
as presented by Ksemaraja. 

The Wheel of Vamesvari 

Again borrowing from Krama doctrine, Ksemaraja explains that the 
pure universal pulsation of consciousness (samanyaspanda) is manifest in 
five cycles or pulses of power (visesaspanda) represented by five concentric 
circles. These circles symbolise the states of individualised consciousness 
ranging from the subtlest, most internal and subjective to the grossest, 
most external and objective. Four of these groups of energies 82 serve as a 
link between absolute, unmanifest consciousness and the realm of 
manifestation. They are: 

1) the circle of Khecarl energies which constitute the individual 

2) the circle of Gocarl energies which are the powers of the inner 
organ of mentation (antahkarana), 

3) the circle of Dikcari energies which are the powers of the 
senses, and 

4) the circle of Bhucari energies which represent the outer objects 
of the senses. 

5) In the centre of these four circles is the fifth — the circle of pure 
consciousness. It represents the absolute as cosmic motion transfigured 
into the inner revolving power of pure consciousness. The centre of the 
fifth circle is empty. In the Void of the Centre the power of awareness 
(cicchakti) is 'established on the thought-free plane of the Supreme 
Lord's inner nature*. 83 

This power wanders in the void of the absolute, the sacred space 
which abides for the divine eternity before the cosmogonic split between 
subject and object occurs. It is the primordial outpouring (ullasa) of the 
undivided awareness of universal consciousness within the 'own nature' 
(svarupa) of all things and within which all spatially perceived diversity 
(disyamanabhedd) emerges. This power is the Supreme Goddess Who 
acts as the root-consciousness and ground of sensory perception. She 
personifies the powers of the internal and external senses as well as their 
objects, both inner emotive states, thoughts, etc., and outer physical 
sensations. In Her wanderings in the Sky of Consciousness {cidakasa) She 
perceives all things. When the split emerges within consciousness between 
subject and object and they are perceived as a multitude of diverse entities, 

130 The Doctrine of Vibration 

She is the source of the positive and negative responses of the perceiver to 
the perceived. 84 These responses are implemented by the four circles which 
evolve out of Her as aspects of Her nature when this split occurs. Hence 
this Goddess is called 'Vyomavamesvari', 85 'Vyomesvari' or simply 
'Vamesvarl. 86 She is the Goddess (Uvari) Who resides in the Sky (vyomari) 
and emits, spits out or vomits (Sanskrit root Varri) the universe of personal 
experience out of the universal experience of the absolute, much as a 
person suffering from cholera vomits out everything in his stomach. 87 She 
is the fullness (purnata) of pure consciousness and the source of the other 
limited forms of awareness manifest as Her four circles of powers. 88 She 
personifies the pure subjectivity which operates in all individual subjects 
and becomes manifest at the instant of complete realisation. 89 K§emaraja 
explicitly identifies Vamesvari with the Spanda principle 90 that brings 
about the extending perception (prat ha) of the Triad of powers, Supreme 
(para), Middling (parapara) and Inferior (apara). Thus She impels every 
form of emanation at all levels of manifestation. 91 

As Her name 'Varna' (meaning 'left', 'perverse' or 'contrary') 
indicates, She accounts for a reversal or, more precisely, a 'double- 
reversal' within the absolute. For the unenlightened She is the source of 
diversity and, as such, She is the potential cause of bondage — the 'reverse' 
of Siva's state of unity and freedom. For the enlightened She is the power 
of awareness which 'runs counter to the normal course of transmigratory 
existence'. 92 For them, Varna represents the spiritual energy (kunqlalini) 
latent in man when it awakens and illumines his consciousness. 93 Her 
powers: "lay hold of, and throw down from a great height the essence of 
diversity and bestow the perfect oneness (abheda) of unity in the midst of 
multiplicity (bhedabheda)." 94 The fettered soul is caught in the force of 
the downward rush of the flux of emanation from the undivided (abheda) 
level to that of division (bheda). The enlightened soul, however, merges 
in the current which flows from the level of diversity to that of unity. 

The Circle of Khecari Energies, The previous level was the sphere of the 
universal subject; this level is the sphere of the individual subject. While 
the former represents the experience of the oneness of pure consciousness 
enjoyed by the enlightened, this circle represents the powers which 
accompany this realisation. The powers of Khecari are the very essence of 
the expansion of consciousness and bliss. They are the attributes of 
consciousness when it is in its most expanded, unconditioned state. These 
are five: omnipotence, omniscience, perfect completeness, freedom from 
natural law and eternality. At the level of the pure individual subjectivity 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 131 

which emerges when consciousness limits itself prior to any contact with 
the subjective sphere, these same powers function as the five obscuring 
coverings (kancuka) which limit the five divine attributes of consciousness. 
These are: 

The power of limited action (kalasakti), 
the power of limited knowledge (yidyasakti), 
the power of attachment (ragatokti), 
the power of natural law (niyatisakti), and 
the power of time (kalasakti). 

The Circle of Gocari Energies. The word 'go\ Ksemaraja tells us, means 
'speech'. Accordingly, the three powers which operate in this sphere are 
the primal energies of the mind (antahkarana) said to constitute the subtle, 
inner discourse (sarnjalpa) of thought. For the unenlightened these 
energies function via the intellect (buddhf), ego (aharnkara) and mind 
(manas) as the powers to determine distinction (bhedaniscaya), to identify 
the Self with diversified objectivity (bhedabhimana) and to form thought- 
constructs centred on diversity (bhedavikalpa), respectively. For those 
who enjoy a state of grace, they give rise to pure determinate awareness in 
the intellect (i.e., the direct experience of unity); pure self-arrogation in the 
ego (i.e., the reflective awareness that 'I am Siva'), and pure intent in the 
mind (i.e., the synthesis of diversity into a unified whole). 

The Circle of Dikcari Energies. Moving further out we reach the sphere 
of the ten senses (five of knowledge and five of action), symbolised by the 
ten directions (dik). Through these sensory powers the unenlightened 
perceive only multiplicity. When these same powers have been purified 
and energized by Siva's grace, the awakened yogi perceives through them 
Siva's pure unity revealed in the diversity of sensations. 95 

The Circle of Bhucari Energies. This is the outermost circle — the sphere 
of objectivity — 'Earth' (bhu). The energies operating in this sphere 
manifest as the five objects of the senses: form, taste, sound, smell and 
touch. The enlightened experience their consonant harmony (tanmayd) 
with the senses and so their ultimate identity with consciousness. These 
powers 'are manifest as the body of the light of consciousness for the 
awakened, while they display limitation everywhere to others.' 96 

132 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The Wheel of the Senses 

Sensory activity is the most tangible expression of the power of 
consciousness to know and act. The physical organs of sight and hearing, 
for example, are merely 'doors' (dvara) or channels through which this 
power flows; they do not in themselves account for the sensory perception 
of light and sound. 97 They are merely the locii (golaka) of particular 
aspects of the pervasive power of universal consciousness to know all 
things in all possible ways. Ksemaraja explains that the Lord of 
Consciousness operates the body and senses of each individual by His 
own power of Maya. 98 The senses are instruments of the power of 
awareness projected out of consciousness through this same power. 99 
Thus the perceptions and activities of the countless living beings in the 
universe function as the senses of the Supreme Lord of Consciousness. 100 
They are aspects of His power of awareness impelled by His Spanda 
energy to activity. Thus the Stanzas on Vibration teach: 

That principle should be examined with effort and respect because 
this, its uncreated freedom, prevails everywhere. By virtue of it the 
senses, along with the inner circle, [although] unconscious, behave as 
if conscious in themselves, move towards their objects, rest [there] 
and withdraw [from them]. 101 

The senses are figuratively arranged in two concentric circles. The 
outer circle consists of the ten senses: five of knowledge (jndnendriya) 
and five of action (karmendriya). The inner circle is the inner organ of 
mentation {antahkarana). m It consists of the intellect (buddhf), ego 
(ahamkara) and mind (manas). The Doctrine of Vibration stresses that 
Spanda can be experienced through the operation of the senses. By 
practice and Siva's grace, the yogi attains a state of alert awareness. He 
then ranks amongst the Awakened (prabuddha). Awakened, he can 
perceive Spanda as the vibration of consciousness that animates the body 
and is the impulse which drives the senses. By attending carefully to this 
vibration he experiences the unity between himself, Siva (Who is universal 
consciousness) and the world of objects and perceptions. At first he 
experiences this only occasionally, but once this experience becomes 
permanent, he is Fully Awakened (suprabuddha) and, as such, liberated. 
To understand how this works, we turn now to a description of the senses. 

The Intellect (buddhi). The individual soul divested of all sensation 
and thought reposes in a state of deep sleep in union with the primordial 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 133 

substance (prakrti) from which the objective world (including the 
psycho-physical organism) is generated. The substance of all that can 
be perceived objectively in any form, this primordial matter is understood 
to be a power of consciousness technically called Sambhavlsakti. 103 
This energy is roused to activity by consciousness personified as the 
god Svatantresa, otherwise known as Ananta. 104 The equilibrium 
(samarasyd) of its three qualities (guna) of Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas 
is then disturbed (praksubdha) and the lower principles are generated 
from them. The first principle to emerge is the intellect. 105 Experience 
at this level is like that of waking from sleep. For a moment we are 
not clearly aware even of ourselves but merely register that things 
exist around us and that we are waking up. Similarly, the intellect is 
free of both the sense of ego and the determinative mental activity of 
the mind. Thus the images that appear in the intellect are apprehended 
directly, its function being merely to illumine the products of sensory 
and mental activity 106 projected onto it where their existence (satta) 
is registered. 

The Ego (ahaifikara). The emergence of the ego marks the next stage 
in the process through which we come to know ourselves as individuals 
and the world about us. The ego's function is to appropriate and 
personalise experience — to link it together as 'my own'. It arises from 
the mistaken notion that the light of consciousness reflected in the 
intellect and coloured by objectively perceived phenomena is the true 
nature of the Self. 107 Thus, the personal ego falsely identifies the Self 
with that which is not the Self and vice versa. 108 The individual soul 
is bound by this mistake in identity which functions not only in relation 
to the subtle, inner operations of the intellect, but also in relation to 
gross, physical objects. 

*I am wealthy', *I am thin', 'I delight in the senses', *I am content', 
'I breathe', (and when in deep sleep) 'I am empty': egoity (asmita) 
is observable on these six levels. 109 

The ego which forms a part of the inner mental organ should 
not be confused with the pure egoity (ahambhava) of consciousness. 
T consciousness is of two kinds. One is pure and is Siva, the light of 
consciousness reposing in itself. 110 The other is a product of Maya. 
The pure ego rests on pure consciousness and the impure ego on outer 
objective forms. 

134 The Doctrine of Vibration 

[Universal] T consciousness rests on freedom whose primary 
characteristic is perfect autonomy. It is without any break, like an 
inward consent (antarabhyupagamakalpa). It is the Self which abides 
as the living being whose nature is the essence of the light of conscious- 
ness, pure and unsullied by any association with the body, etc. It is 
[perfectly real] and not a thought-construct. m 

False identification conditions this pure egoity (ahanta), limiting 
it to the psycho-physical organism. It is imperfect (apurnd) and 
hemmed in on every side by the limitations imposed upon it by its 
physical and mental environment. Pure egoity is uncreated (akftrimd) 
and free. The individual ego is. a creation (kftakatvd) imagined into 
existence (kalpita) by pure T consciousness. n2 Even so, there is in 
fact only one ego which operates within different parameters. The 
pure ego functions at the universal level of cosmic subjectivity (yisva- 
pramatfta) and the impure ego at the individual level of the Maya- 
subject. By recognising that T (aham) is Siva and that this ego is not 
that of the fettered soul (pasu), we realise our identity with Siva and 
are liberated. We must stick to the abiding conviction that our authentic 
ego and Sankara are identical. 113 To have an ego is not in itself harmful 
or bad: 

O Supreme Lord, although I have understood that pride is 
vain, even so, if I do not measure [the expanse] of my own nature 
by the pride of thinking, *I am made of You', all joy comes to nought. ' l4 

This pure ego is Spandasakti. It manifests as the individual ego 
which transmits the impulse (samrambha) of consciousness that 
activates the vital breaths 115 animating the mind and body. According 
to Ksemaraja the Doctrine of Vibration teaches: 

Anointed by a drop of the nectar (rasa) of egoity even the un- 
conscious becomes conscious. Thus this reality, infusing consciousness 
into them, renders both the senses and the conceived subject (kalpita- 
pramatf), falsely assumed to be the impelling force (prerakatva) 
behind their activity, capable of performing their functions. Thus 
[the individual soul] falsely assumes that he impels the senses to action. ' 16 

The individual ego is the source of all the other senses. As uninter- 
rupted self-awareness, it is called the Sun of Knowledge. Around the 
sun of the ego rotate the twelve suns of the other senses. They emerge 
from it and are drawn back into it just as, according to Saiva cosmography, 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 135 

the twelve suns, corresponding to the signs of the zodiac, emerge from 
and return to the thirteenth sun. 117 Thus the function of the ego is the 
self-arrogation of experience through the identification it engenders 
between consciousness and the senses which are its instruments of 
knowledge and action. Although those ignorant of the authentic 
identity of the ego are bound by its operations, it is nonetheless an 
essential component of individualised consciousness. Directing its 
sensory and mental activity, it reflects in the microcosm the supremity 
of the universal ego that is the source and master of all that takes place 
in the domain of manifestation. 

Mind (manas). The ego full of the brilliance of sattva is the source of 
the mind (manas) and the nve organs of knowledge (jnanendriya). 
Mind (manas) is the instrument through which consciousness fashions 
specific, clearly defined mental representations of the world of sensations, 
which pours into the inner mental organ through the channels of the 
outer senses and is reflected in the intellect. Like a chisel which cuts 
away the unwanted stone from a block of marble to reveal the image 
contained within it, mind (manas) excludes all the sensations not 
immediately useful to the perceiver and focuses his attention onto those 
that are. Without mind (manas) our field of awareness would be flooded 
with thousands of indiscernible sensations. It would be impossible 
to follow a sequence of events or go about any task without succumbing 
to a thousand distractions. A faint sound heard in the distance would 
be registered with the same intensity of awareness as the music we were 
listening to in a concert hall. 

Manas selects and isolates specific sensations from the mass 
reflected in the intellect. This sensation is then compared with similar 
sensations perceived in the past, the latent traces of which are stored 
in the intellect and named according to the prevailing linguistic convention 
(sanketa). The two sensations— one in the past, the other in the present — 
are held together by the continuity of awareness between these two 
moments and so we come to recognise that the two sensations belong 
to the same class and manas is able to form a discursive representation 
(vikalpa) of the sensation perceived. Manas thus not only analyses 
and dissociates individual sensations from each other, but also synthesises 
a set of sensations into a single whole. x ,8 For example, a series of discrete 
sensations occurring in successive moments is grouped together by 
manas in the notion of action or in the notion of relation in general. 
The basis of this determinative activity (anuvyavasaya) is unity-in- 
difference (bhedabheda) and its function, the structured ordering 
of sensations. 119 

136 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Manas (in the normal states of waking and dreaming) is always mov- 
ing (cancald) from one sensation to the next. Unlike the external organs 
of knowledge, manas is not confined to a specific field of operation 
(visaya). It can equally well apprehend sound, taste, smell, etc., and 
thus relate them to one another to form a single, coherent picture of 
the world of physical objects. As no activity is possible in the absence 
of a will to act, manas is said to be full of will (iccha) or desire to move 
on to, and process, different sensations. It is driven to its task by the 
ego's incessant seeking to appropriate and assimilate experience. The 
pure sensation clothed in thought and differentiated from other 
sensations by manas and personalised by the ego (ahamkara) is then 
presented to the intellect, where it becomes known to consciousness. 

Mahesvarananda, explaining the process of perception and the 
function of the inner mental organ, compares its three constituent 
elements to waves (kallold) which form in the ocean of the Heart (hfdayd) 
of consciousness. As they rise out of the Heart of pure T consciousness, 
they carry with them some of its egoity and spill it out onto the object 
of perception. The 'thisness' (idanta) of objectivity is drawn into 
intimate relationship with the fc I-ness' of subjectivity. The three senses 
of the inner mental organ "drag 'thisness' there [into the ocean of the 
Heart] and project T-ness' out here [onto the object of perception]." 120 
There is a movement (spandd) of awareness in two directions — from 
inner to outer and outer to inner. This movement free of temporal 
distinctions, 121 is a great wave (mahataranga) of the ocean of conscious- 
ness. From this great wave originate the smaller waves which are the 
movements of the outer senses, just as ripples or eddies follow in the 
wake of large waves. 122 Thus the power of the Heart of consciousness 
emanates out to the outer world and back, vibrating as it moves. 
Although the entire process of perception constitutes a single event, 
Mahesvarananda analyses the pulsation of the Heart into three phases 
as follows. 

Primal vibration (adyaspanda). This is the initial throb of awareness 
that pulses in the subject. It corresponds to the tendency (aunmukhya) 
inherent in the power of consciousness to expand out into universal 

Intense vibration (parispanda). This is the universal vibration of 
consciousness that reveals itself in the outpouring of awareness that 
takes place during each act of perception. 

Vibrating radiance (sphuratta). In the final phase of perception it 
matures into a fully formed cognition which is imprinted on conscious- 
ness through the pulsing and illuminating activity of the senses. The 
five-fold universe of sound, taste, touch, smell and sight now becomes 

Sakti Cakra: Wheel of Energies 137 

fully manifest, 123 brilliant with the radiance of consciousness. 

We move on now to examine the nature and function of the ten 
outer senses. 

The Outer Senses. All of manifest creation can be divided into two 
primary categories, namely, conscious and unconscious manifestations 
(cid~ and acidabhasas) — sentient beings and inert objects. 124 The ability 
to know and act is the very life (jivana) of sentient beings, 125 and their 
knowledge and action are most tangibly externally manifest through 
the functions of the senses. Coupled with the limited power of knowledge, 
the power of limited action (kalasakti) constitutes the conditioned 
agency which operates through the inner mental organ, impelling 126 
and guiding the functions of the senses, linking together the stream of 
data coming in through the organs of perception and the outgoing 
responses through the organs of action. 127 

The Organs of Knowledge. According to Spanda doctrine, the five 
organs of perception — the senses of taste, touch, smell, hearing and 
sight — are aspects of the radiant pulsation (sphuratta) of consciousness. 
Each of these five senses is confined to its own locus (golaka) in the 
body, situated where it can pick up the maximum amount of information 
in the most efficient way. 128 Like a lamp set inside a perforated jar, 
the light of consciousness radiates through the senses, freely limiting 
itself so that each one is confined to its own specific field of operation 
(visaya). The Kashmiri Saivite rejects the view that the sources of 
the senses are the gross physical elements. He contends that they are 
the products of the ego (qhamkara) brilliant with the lustre of Sattva, 119 
insofar as all sense perception is accompanied by T consciousness. 
The notions: 'I hear', 4 I see' or *I smell', etc., are always attended by 
the ego. 130 As we have seen, from the Kashmiri Saiva point of view, 
perception is an activity as well as a state of awareness. Knowledge 
and action are two interdependent categories; they are never found 
apart. 131 As instruments of the act of perception, the senses require 
the conscious agency of the ego. In the absence of an agent who 
implements their activity, we would have to posit the existence of 
another instrument to perform this function and there would be no 
reason why that too should not require a third and so on, leading to 
an infinite regress. 132 

However, from the point of view of a phenomenology of sensory 
perception, the ego alone does not fully account for the existential being 

138 The Doctrine of Vibration 

of the senses. The senses can have no real existence as such, without 
the objects with which they are correlated. Thus, along with the senses, 
the ego, full of the inertia of Tamas, 133 generates the pure sensations 
(tanmatra) of taste, touch, smell, etc., corresponding to each sense 
organ. In this way the essential elements of sensory perception, 
namely, the perceiving ego, the senses and the perceived sensation 
are accounted for by the activity of the sentient subject. 

The Organs of Action. The organs of action presuppose the existence 
of the organs of perception. They are generated from the ego as 
instruments to implement its responses to the sensations coming in 
through them. While the activity of the organs of action is accompanied 
by bodily movement, the activity of the organs of perception is not. 134 
Although bodily movement is essentially one, it is differentiated into 
five categories according to the diverse conceptions we form of its 
nature. 135 Handling, picking up or grasping is the activity of the hand. 
Excretion is the activity of the excretory organs. Locomotion is the 
activity of the feet and emission that of the sexual organ. These four 
are said to correspond to the outer actions of appropriation (adana), 
rejection (hand), both 136 and neither. 137 The fifth action is speech; 
it is internal and hence does not belong to any of these four categories. 
Although each organ of knowledge is invariably associated with only 
one specific locus, this is not the case with the organs of action. A lame 
man can move about from place to place without the use of his feet and 
we can pick up things with parts of the body other than the hands. 138 

To conclude: the inner and outer senses are aspects of the vibration 
of consciousness and, as such, are the channels through which conscious- 
ness becomes manifest as the world of perceptions. Together they 
are said to be 'the vibration of the glory of consciousness'. 139 Through 
this vibration the yogi catches a glimpse of the wonder of the Divine, 
brilliantly manifest in its creation. By its Light, he ultimately realises 
Siva's ubiquity as all things and that this is, in fact, his own presence 


The Divine Body and the 
Sacred Circle of the Senses 

The yogi seeking enlightenment must undergo a complete conversion 
or reversal (paravftti) of perspective. To know as man knows is the 
very essence of bondage; 1 freedom is to know reality as God knows it. 
The seeker then finds himself in a new existential situation in which he 
recognises his own authentic Being by being as God is. This is achieved 
by a pure and intense act of self-awareness in which the old mode of 
understanding reality is dropped in favour of a new and deeper knowledge 
of oneself as unlimited, infinite consciousness. This change in perspective 
discloses a new dimension of experience. In the moment of realisation, 
man and the world reveal themselves as an or.tophany in which conscious- 
ness of Being coincides with the worship of Being as the sacred. The 
realisation of Being is fused with participation in the Holy. The sacred 
ontophany of manifestation is realised in the wonder (camatkara) 
inspired by the theophanic vision. To see the world with God's eyes 
is to witness the eternal worship of His Being. The organ of vision is 
the sacred circle of the senses and the abode of its operation, the 
Divine Body. 

True monism (paradvaya), as we have seen, requires that each 
part be the Whole, that the Wholeness of totality be manifest in every 
aspect of its fullness. 2 Every existent thing is sacred and enshrines 
the divine cosmos in the fullness of its participation in Being. The 

140 The Doctrine of Vibration 

human body, in a particularly special way, is the epitome of the universe; 
it is the pure vessel of pure consciousness. 3 Pervaded by consciousness, 
the body partakes of the sacred character of the absolute. Consecrated 
by the divine presence within it, it is the temple of God, 4 the sacred 
place of sacrifice and worship. We do not experience our consciousness 
as something external to the body, like a blanket or an outer garment. 5 
In the same way, the universe, with all that we perceive, is an intimate 
extension of our own pure conscious being. 6 Abhinava writes: 

Thus, one should think of the body as full of all the Paths (adhvari) 
[to enlightenment and cosmic emanation]. Variegated by the workings 
of time, it is the abode of all the movements of time and space. The body 
seen in this way is all the gods, and must therefore be the object of 
contemplation, veneration and sacrifice. He who penetrates into it 
finds liberation. 7 

Everything is a part of God's Divine Body — the sacred cosmos 
in which God's blissful activities are made manifest through the workings 
of natural law (niyati)* The presence of T consciousness in the body 
is revealed by the movement of its limbs; the presence of God in His 
Cosmic Body is seen in the movement of the universe. 

Just as the ego (asmita) in the body flings apart the two lifeless 
arms by a mere act of will, so [the universal ego] in the universe [rends 
asunder] mountains by its power. 9 

Similarly, the yogi who perceives that all things are like the limbs 
of his own body (svdhgakalpa) plunges in the divine awareness that: 
'I am this [universe]' (aham-idam). Bondage is a false identification 
with the physical body and liberation a true identification with the 
cosmic body. Thus the split between subject and object is healed and 
the yogi perceives reality everywhere, as an undivided unity (avibhakta) 
in which inner and outer blend together like the juices in a peacock's egg. ,0 

Each level of consciousness corresponds to a degree of spiritual 
attainment. At each stage of ascent along the 'living ladder of conscious- 
ness' 11 the yogi achieves a higher degree of mastery over the cosmic 
processes taking place within his own universal consciousness. With 
each degree of empowerment, he penetrates into a fresh dimension of 
experience. In the theosophical language of the Tantras, he is said to 
become the lord of a higher world-order (bhuvana). He possesses a 
different 'space' in the pure extension of conscious Being and lives in 
this world in a body suited to his new existential situation. 12 At the 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 141 

Parasiva level his body is the universe, the sum total of all spiritual 
extensions and world-orders. In a sense, however, because Siva does 
not confront any reality outside Himself, He has no body at all. His 
body is a body of Consciousness (vijnanadeha), the sacred image 
(murti) of His manifest form. 13 This is the Supreme Body (paradeha), 
the greatest of all bodies 14 radiant with the infinite vitality (Ojas), 
fecund power (virya), strength (bald) and divine vibration (spanda) 15 
of the supreme state of subjectivity (parapramatrbhava) it enshrines. 
This Divine Body (divyadeha) is entirely spiritual and no longer 
belongs to matter. It is the Body of Power (saktadeha), the universe 
of energy replete with the five principle powers of consciousness, bliss, 
will, knowledge and action. 16 In failing to contemplate the Cosmic 
Body of the Self, we fail to experience the sacred festival (utsava) of 
the external manifestation of the glory of its pure Spanda nature 
(vibhutispanda). xl We must rid ourselves of the false notion that the 
body is in any way impure. 18 We must recognise that it is pure conscious- 
ness alone and give up the fruitless quest for satisfaction in objects 
we fail to realise are part of our own Cosmic Body. 

Once the tendency (aunmukhya) [to see external] objects ceases 
and limitation is destroyed, what remains in the body apart from the 
nectar (rasa) of Siva's Bliss? [Thus] seeing and worshipping the body 
night and day as replete with [all] the categories of existence and full 
of the nectar of Siva's Bliss, [the yogi] becomes identified with Siva. 
Established in that holy image (linga\ content to rest in [his] cosmic 
body, [the yogi] does not aspire to any outer Linga, [to make any] 
vows, [travel to] the sacred sites or practise [external] disciplines. 19 

To attain this pure body of consciousness or, to be more precise, 
to recognise our own body to be it, we must first purge ourselves of the 
lower states of embodied consciousness. We must unite the knot of 
ignorance which binds us and leads us to suppose that the psycho- 
physical organism, with all the subtler bodies contained in it, is our 
true body. When this false identification is overcome, consciousness, 
which formerly seemed contracted, now presents itself in its true, 
fully expanded (vikasita) form. The individual ego merges in the 
pervasive, universal ego, just as the space in a broken jar merges with 
the space around it. 20 The yogi then realises that the Spanda energy 
of this authentic egoity does all things and that he, the individual, is 
the agent in this sense alone. Thus the action of the wise, free of false 
identification with the physical body, entails no Karma and they are 
liberated. 21 

142 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The false identification of the ego with the physical body conditions 
the power of awareness (citisakti) by generating thought-forms (yikalpa) 
based on the notion of that a difference exists (bheda) between the 
embodied subject and the extra-corporeal object. These thought- 
constructs constitute the lower order of embodied subjectivity and, 
to all intents and purposes, its body. The yogi transmutes thought 
back into its original form as the light of consciousness by burning it 
in the sacred fire of consciousness (cidagni) inflamed by the contemplative 
awareness that: "It is I, the Great Lord, Who, as pure consciousness, 
always shine thus as all things". 22 This inner awareness is the divine 
radiance (sphuratta) of the rapture of the supreme ego. 23 It is pure 
Spanda energy, the secret power of Mantra (mantravirya) which burns 
away the false identification with the body and with it the body of 
thought. 24 This is the true fire sacrifice in which, as the Aphorisms of 
Siva declare, this body is the oblation. 25 

External rites are of no avail if their inner significance is not 
understood and their symbolic function does not correspond to an 
inner activity within consciousness. The inner conscious processes 
(yasanakrama) corresponding to the outer ritual activity (pujakrama) 
must be understood and mastered. Whether outer rites are actually 
performed or not makes no difference from this point of view. In reality, 
all of life's activities are part of the great sacrificial rite (mahayaga) 
eternally enacted by universal consciousness within itself, to itself. 
In this rite, the sacrificial fire is the Great Void (mahasunya), the 
supreme reality (paratattvd) entirely devoid of all division {bheda) and 
beyond the emptiness of insentience. The sacrificial ladle is awareness 
(cetana) and the offering is the entire outer universe of diversity, 
including the gross elements, senses, objects, world-orders and categories 
of existence, together with the inner world of mind (manas) and thought. 26 
All division between subject and object is burnt away and everything 
made one with the fire of consciousness. Abhinava explains: 

Oblation is effortlessly offered in the fire of [Siva's] intensely 
flaming consciousness by offering fully all of the great seed of internally 
and externally created duality (bheda). 21 

The fuel offered in the fire of this supernal (alaukika) and eternal 
sacrifice is the forest of duality, and death is the sacrificial victim 
(mahapasu). 2 * We must rid ourselves of all attachment, of all sense 
of 'me' and 'mine', however painful this may be, and thus acquire a 
new, transfigured body, not made of matter but of the spiritual essence 
of consciousness. In the chilling words of the Tantras: 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 143 

O Goddess, by eating the body of the beloved, a relative, close 
friend, benefactor or dear one, one must fly upwards with the Maiden 
of the Sky, [the power of consciousness]. 29 

What this verse means is that the embodied subjectivity (deha- 
pramatrta) must be assimilated into consciousness so that the disturbing 
thought-constructs engendered by it may no longer agitate it. Then 
the yogi spontaneously recognises the highest level of Spanda's power 
within himself. 30 All duality is burnt away and consciousness rests 
tranquil, firmly fixed (dhruva) and free of the waves of cosmic manifesta- 
tion (nistaranga). Nothing remains of the yogi's unenlightened 
individuality and he shares in the pure contemplative absorption 
consciousness itself enjoys. Thus, no longer identifying himself with 
the body, he recognises his true nature to be the vibrant power of 
Spanda, personified as the goddess Bhairavi, and so unites with Bhairava, 
the Great Light of consciousness. 31 

The first vibration (spanda) or wave of activity that rises spon- 
taneously out of this state of tranquility (visranti) is the immaculate 
body (murti) of consciousness. 32 Pure, undifferentiated Siva-conscious- 
ness unfolds in this way as the universe and displays its true nature. 33 
The yogi united with Siva witnesses the emanation of Siva's cosmic 
body as the creation of his own perfected, divine body. This pure 
emanation (suddhasrsfi) confirms the yogi's state to be that of Bhairavi. 34 
In this state the yogi experiences the identity (samarasya) of unity and 
diversity in the oneness of his pure Spanda nature. This unity for the 
fettered soul corresponds to the unfolding of his Siva-nature; diversity, 
the unfolding of Maya. 35 The enlightened yogi, identified with Siva, 
resides in Siva's abode located in the centre between the two sides of 
this expansion. In this way he experiences the bliss of the emergence 36 
of consciousness within his spiritual cosmic body. 

In the centre of his body, the yogi contemplates the power of his 
own consciousness (citi), the radiant Fire of Time where all the categories 
of existence are burnt away. The perfected yogi (siddha) thinks his 
physical body to be hardly more than a corpse — mere dead matter, 
like all the other objects he perceives within his cosmic body. The 
universe appears to him to be a vast cremation ground strewn with the 
lifeless 'corpses' of phenomena. He makes the Vow of a Hero (viravrata) 
to see all things, however disgusting or attractive, with an equal eye, 37 
aware that they are all manifestations of consciousness. He carries 
in one hand the sacred staff (khafvariga) of awareness with which he 
smashes the body of his own ego to pieces. In the other hand, he bears 
the skull bowl of the portions of the universe which appear in the 

144 The Doctrine of Vibration 

purview of his senses, white with the light of consciousness. From this 
bowl he drinks the wine of the essence (rasa) of the universe. 38 Absorbed 
in the contemplation of the fire of his own consciousness (citi), he 
enters the cremation ground of his own body, terrible with the funeral 
pyres (citi) in which all the latent traces of his past actions (krama) 
are burnt to ashes. 39 Abhinava writes: 

"[The body] is the support of all the gods, the cremation ground 
frightening with the pyre [of consciousness, citi, which destroys all 
things]. Attended by siddhas and yoginls, it is their awesome (maha- 
raudra) playground wherein all embodied forms (vigraha) come to 
an end. Full of the countless pyres [of the senses] and pervaded by the 
halos of their rays, the flux of the darkness [of duality] is destroyed 
and, free of all thought-constructs, it is the sole abode of bliss. Entering 
this [body], the cremation ground of emptiness — who does not 
achieve perfection?" 40 

All Tantric traditions, including those of Kashmiri Saivism, 
teach that the senses, along with the body, should be venerated as 
manifestations of the sacred power of consciousness which emits them 
as the sun does its rays. 41 Accordingly, the senses can be personified 
and worshipped as deities that surround and attend upon the god 
(or goddess) who is their master. According to Ksemaraja, although 
the senses and their presiding deities do not in fact differ, the Spanda 
teachings distinguish between them. The physical senses are merely 
the external expansion (vijrmbha) of the body of consciousness 
(vijnanadeha) which belongs to the deities of the senses. The Supreme 
Lord and inner master of the Circle (cakradevata) is the universal 
subject (mahapramatr) Who, endowed with the sacred power of the 
senses, is seated in the Heart of consciousness within the sacred abode 
(p\\ha) of the body, 42 and there playfully rotates the wheels of their 
powers. 43 

The forms and names ascribed to the deities of the senses vary 
considerably in different traditions and even in different Tantras 
belonging to the same tradition. The reason for this, according to 
Abhinava, is largely due to the ritual context in which they are venerated 
and the functions ascribed to them. The activities of the senses are 
altered by the emotions generated by consciousness, and so the character 
of their presiding deities changes accordingly. Thus, in rites performed 
in anger with the aim of killing an enemy, the deities are represented 
in a wrathful (raudra) attitude. Rites intended to bring peace and 
prosperity are attended by deities of a peaceful (saumya) disposition. 44 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 145 

The original rites described in the Tantras have no place in the yogic 
teachings of the Spanda school; even so, the esoteric philosophy 
(rahasyadfs(i) at the root of their symbolic significance has been 
retained. This makes sense because the spiritual, cosmic body is more 
'internal' than the lower-order body through which the rites are 
performed. It is one with the universal consciousness residing in the 
Centre, the pulsing Heart (tydaya) of pure T consciousness, the 'great 
abode of the universe' 45 in which everything rests 46 and which gives 
life and being to all things. Jayaratha quotes: 

Although [the Light] pervades all the body and senses, even so, 
its supreme abode is the core of the Lotus of the Heart. 47 

This same inwardness is shared by the sacred circle of the senses 
of this Divine Body. It is the inner circle of the goddesses of the senses 
(karanadevata). Ksemaraja, expounding the Doctrine of Vibration, 
says that they are the "circle of the rays of the glory of the Self which 
presides over and gives life to the outer circle of the physical senses. 48 
In his "Hymn to the Circle of Deities in the Body" (Dehasthadevata- 
cakrastotra), Abhinava describes the goddesses of the senses. Although 
this hymn belongs to the Krama tradition, not to Spanda, it is clear 
that K§emaraja understood the nature of these divine powers essentially 
in the way Abhinava describes them here. He portrays the goddesses 
of the senses as seated on the petals of the lotus of the Heart arrayed 
around the Divine Couple, Anandabhairava and Anandabhairavi, 
Who are in the calix. The goddesses move restlessly hither and thither 
in search of the most pleasing sensations to offer in worship to the 
Couple in the Centre. Abhinava begins by saluting Ganesa and Vajuka, 
the inhaled and exhaled breaths (apana and prana). He then praises 
Anandabhairava, the true teacher (sadguru) Who is the yogi's attentive 
awareness (avadhana) that illumines Siva's Path — the universe — by the 
power of His intellect (dhi). Meanwhile His consort, Anandabhairavi, 
playfully gives rise (udayd) to the universe, manifests it (avabhasana) 
and relishes its pure conscious nature (carvana). Around them are 
BrahmanI, the intellect (buddhi), who offers the flowers of certainty 
(niscaya); Sambhavl, the ego (ahamkara), who offers the flowers of 
egoity; Kaumarl, the mind (rnanas) who offers her flowers of thought 
(vikalpa); Vaisnavi, the ear, offering sounds; Varahi, the skin, offering 
tactile sensations; Indrani, sight, offering forms; Carmin^a, the tongue, 
offering tastes; and Mahalak§ml, the nose, who offers smell. After 
rendering homage to the Self, replete with all the categories of existence, 
Abhinava concludes with the words: 

146 The Doctrine of Vibration 

I venerate in this way the circle of deities eternally active (satatoditd) 
in my own body, ever present in all beings and the essence of the radiant 
pulsation of experience (sphuradanubhava). 49 

At the lower level of consciousness, the physical senses are hardly 
more than unconscious instruments of perception. They are extroverted 
and operate in relation to external objects. At the higher level, when 
'the island of embodied consciousness' has been destroyed and submerged 
into the ocean of pure consciousness, the senses perceive reality in a 
new, timeless mode. 50 They are introverted in the sense that they are 
recognised to be spiritual forces operating within sacred consciousness. 
Plunged in Bhairava's Great Light, the senses are divinised and their 
activity leads the yogi to the higher reaches of consciousness even 
as they perceive their objects. The senses thus illumine the yogi after 
having themselves been illumined by Siva and he realises in this way 
that the senses are the pure Spanda energy of consciousness which 
perceives the Divine manifest as sensations. 

Siva manifests His freedom in the joy (dhldda) he feels as the 
subject who perceives the world through the pulsing activity of the 
senses. He sports in the garden of His universe delighting in the five 
flowers of smell, taste, sight, touch and sound. 51 At the same time 
Siva rests in His own nature. The repose He thus enjoys is the source 
of His bliss and the foundation of His freedom. Embracing the diversity 
of things in the oneness of His nature, Siva is content. The yogi must 
seek to imitate Siva, the archetype of Fully Awakened (suprabuddhd) 
consciousness. The yogi's experience conforms to Siva's blissfully 
unifying vision to the degree in which he succeeds in maintaining a 
state of authentic self-awareness. The perfected yogi is always established 
in himself, reflecting on his true and uncreated (akrtrima) nature. 
But although self-absorbed, he is never abstracted from the world. 
In fact, by being constantly mindful of himself, he sees and hears with 
greater clarity and understanding, and, with his senses and mind thus 
actively in touch with the world, his meditation matures and becomes 

The Spanda teachings, accordingly, instruct the yogi to observe 
the movement of the senses, mindful that their activity is an extension 
of the activity of Siva — the universal consciousness which is the yogi's 
true nature. 52 In this way he comes to recognise himself to be full of 
the Spanda energy which impels the operation of the senses. 53 Sensations 
of all sorts thus ultimately lead him to recognise himself to be the 
pervasive experience of the Great Light (mahaprakasa) of consciousness, 
filling both his individual subjectivity and his environment. 54 Consequent- 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 147 

ly, although many spiritual paths seek to curb and discipline the 
senses, seeing in them one of the principle sources of bondage (samsara), 
the Spanda teachings, and Kashmiri Saivism in general, maintain, 
on the contrary, that they can serve both initially as a means to self- 
realisation and, ultimately, are the very bliss of liberation itself. 55 
Utpaladeva, the great exponent of the philosophy of recognition, 
repeatedly dwells on this theme in his hymns to Siva. Realising his 
authentic Siva-nature and thus inspired by the spirit of the highest 
form of devotion (parabhakti), Utpaladeva exclaims: 

May the outpourings of the activity of my senses fall on their 
respective objects. May I, O Lord, never be so rash as to lose, even 
for a moment, the joy of my oneness with You, however slightly. 56 

The yogi can take pleasure in sense objects; indeed he is specifically 
instructed to do so, 57 if he maintains an awakened, mindful attitude 
(prabuddhabhava) and does not just blindly follow his natural inclinations 
as does an animal with a bare minimum of self-awareness. The pleasure 
we derive from physical objects is, in reality, the repose we enjoy when 
the activity of the mind is momentarily arrested and delights one- 
pointedly in the source of pleasure. All pleasure, in other words, is 
essentially spiritual. It is a state the subject experiences and not a 
property of the object. It is 'a drop from the ocean of Siva's bliss', 58 
a small wave or pulse in the universal vibration of consciousness. The 
yogi must fix his attention on the source of pleasure, freeing his mind 
of all disturbing thoughts and so make the transition to a state of 
awareness in which his personal concerns are transcended in the pervasive 
experience of consciousness. This yogi is no hedonist. He is free of 
the false notion that the body is the Self and so does not crave for the 
pleasures of the senses, although he does make use of them as spring- 
boards to project him beyond the realms of physical, transitory objectivity 
into the eternal sphere of consciousness. 

If the connection between 'worldly' pleasure and spiritual bliss 
is strong, the link between aesthetic experience and the rapturous 
delight (camatkara) of consciousness is even more so. Sweet song, 
a pleasing picture, the sight of a beautiful woman, all these are full 
of a 'juice' (rasa) which the senses relish or 'taste' and which, like food, 
feeds consciousness with delight and wonder (camatkara). The senses 
are the organs of this 'tasting' (asvadana t rasana) and a state of aroused 
consciousness is the fruit. Abhinava writes: 

Once one has overcome distraction, the pleasure one enjoys 

148 The Doctrine of Vibration 

through the sentiments of love, etc., expressed in poetry or drama, 
for example, differs from the pleasure derived from sense objects. This 
is because [one gains access to it] by the removal of such obstacles 
as the anticipation of possible personal gain. So, once freed of these 
impediments, the experience {pratiti) is one of 'relishing' (rasana\ 
'tasting' (carvana) or 'contentment' (nivfti) and is, in fact, repose in 
the cognising subjectivity. It is right to describe it in these terms because 
the Heart, that is, self-awareness (paramarta) is [in this experience] 
the predominant factor. Although the Prakasa aspect, centred on the 
object, is also present, the sensitivity [on the part of the subject] to 
its aesthetic quality (sahfdayata) is a result of ignoring [this objective 

aspect] When one tastes sweet or other juices (rasa), contact with the 

object of sense represents an obstacle [to the blissful experience of its 
purely pleasurable potential]. Similarly, in the case of poetry and 
drama, etc., although there may be no such obstacles, their latent 
traces continue to be perceived. Even then, however, by removing the 
partial obstruction that arises in that way [we] gain attentive Hearts 
and that is supreme bliss. 59 

Changes occasioned in the powers of the senses in contact with 
the aesthetic object represent a shift of awareness from the surface 
consciousness of mundane experience to deeper levels. Here the 
fragmentation of the surface is resolved in the fullness of the vibration 
of T consciousness in the centre of the circle of sensory energies. 
The senses initially resonate, as it were, in consonance with the aesthetic 
object, penetrating and mingling with it so completely, that the boundary 
between sensation and appreciative awareness dissolves away, leaving 
a state of unity (tanmayibhava) which pervades both the senses and 
the aesthetic object. This leads to a heightened state of introversion 
(antahpravesa) in which the aesthetic object is experienced with such 
intimacy and sense of direct contact that it is no longer felt to be external. 
It is submerged (nimajjana) in the field of awareness, filling it so 
completely with the aesthetic delight (rasa) it arouses, that the subject 
loses all sense of his individuality. Consciousness, now freed from the 
restrictions of the narrow confines of individual subjectivity, spontaneous- 
ly expands to finally delight in the untrammelled outpouring (ucchalana) 
of his own pulsation (spandana, vighurnana) as the pure appreciative 
subjectivity. 60 

Whatever enters the field of awareness through the channels of 
the senses and mind affects the perceiving subject and brings him to 
life, as it were, as the centre of awareness in the world of perceptions. 
The influx of sensations is a stream of energy which 'feeds' the vibrant 
power of consciousness much as the vital breath vitalises the limbs 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 1 49 

of the body. Spanda is this dynamically effective character of conscious- 
ness — its vitality (virya) and fecund power (ojas) apparent as the 
beauty (kantata) of all its manifestations. 61 The arousal or intensification 
of this power is the most essential, indeed the basic, element of all 
aesthetic experience. The sound of pleasing music, the smell of incense, 
a gentle caress, etc., can all arouse the subject from a state of inattentive 
indifference (madhyasthya) and stimulate the Heart of consciousness 
to pulsate more intensely with the subtle movement of awareness and 
bliss. 62 This movement, or arousal of the vitality of consciousness 
(viryaksobha), is the unfolding of the power of awareness (sdktasphara) 
which inspires the aesthete with wonder (camatkara) and delight 
(ananda). It creates for him a new world of beauty, the creation of 
which, at its most intense and sublime level, coincides with the creation 
of an entire universe of experience, generated by the constantly renewed 
emissive power (visargasakti) of consciousness. None other than the 
subtle transcendental movement of Bhairava's awareness in all its 
fullness, this 'arousal of vitality' (viryaksobha) is the ecstatic experience 
of the outpouring of His powers of freedom and bliss. 63 The yogi, fully 
centred on the aesthetic object, his thoughts and senses stilled, becomes 
one with it and consciousness turns in on itself to realise its eternal, 
pulsing (spanda) nature as a divine aesthetic continuum, vibrant 
with vitality (Wry a). 64 

Wonder is the essence of life. To be incapable of wonder is to be 
as dead and insensitive as a stone. We live and enjoy the vitality (virya) 
of consciousness to the degree in which we are sensitive to the beauty 
of things around us. Each aesthetic experience, had with mindfulness 
and a disciplined intention directed towards heightening our general 
level of aesthetic sensitivity, brings us a little closer to the sustained 
wonder of the pulsation (spanda) of consciousness which permeates 
all experience. The yogi at first practices to penetrate into this state 
of wonder through the medium of objects more easily pleasing and then, 
as he makes progress, he learns to discern that same sense of wonder 
in himself even when confronted with the foulest of things or in times 
of great trouble and pain. 

The whole of life with all its events and our reactions to them is the 
unfolding drama of cosmic manifestation staged by the creative genius 
(pratibha) of consciousness. Siva is the seer, the poet (kavi) Who 
writes the plot and is, at the same time, the Self who plays all the roles 65 
on the stage of the mind 66 with the senses as the spectators. 67 The 
three moments during which the plot is introduced, runs its course 
and is concluded correspond to the creation, persistence and destruction 
of Siva's universal creation. 68 The perfected yogi shares in Siva's 

150 The Doctrine of Vibration 

delight and experiences all things as full of the varied sentiments (rasa) 
which they, at once Siva and His wonderful creation, can impart to a 
receptive consciousness. The delight the yogi takes in the things about 
him transcends the pleasures of the hedonist or even those of the most 
refined aesthete. For although all aesthetic experience is a glimpse 
into a different, supernal (alaukika) order of reality, the yogi alone 
can maintain this awareness constantly. The moment of aesthetic 
delight is for him both the result and the essence of an attitude which 
can ony be adequately described as religious. Utpaladeva writes: 

How wonderful it is that although only one sound, that is, Siva's 
name, is always on the tips of their tongues, yet [His] devotees can 
taste the ineffable relish of all the objects of the senses! 69 

For the yogi the pleasing, beautiful objects from which he derives 
so much strength and satisfaction are sacred manifestations of conscious- 
ness offered to the Lord of consciousness in worship. 70 When recognised 
to be one with 'Brahman's Abode', whatever brings pleasure to the 
mind through the workings of the senses is an aid to worship. 71 This 
is what the yogi offers in the Sacred Festival (mahotsva) of non-dual 
worship (advayapuja), plunged in the inebriating experience of 
Cosmic Bliss (jagadananda). Again Utpaladeva exclaims: 

Drunk am I by drinking the wine of the Elixir of Immortality 
(rasayand) which is Your worship, perpetually flowing through 
the channels of the senses from the goblets, full [to overflowing], 
of all existing things. 72 

At the lower, contracted (saipkucita) level of consciousness, the 
senses are expressions of the limited powers of knowledge and action 
{yidya- and kala-sakti) of the fettered soul. At the higher, expanded 
iyikasita) level of consciousness, the senses express the pure awareness 
(bodha) and freedom (svatantrya) of the absolute. These higher, 
empowered senses make the entire universe one with consciousness 
the instant they behold it in the purview of their universal activity. 73 
These higher, divinised senses are the deities of the sensory powers said 
to reside in the inner circle located within the circle of the physical senses. 
In this way the divine senses are symbolised as being more internal 
(i.e., closer to consciousness) than the physical senses. Their function 
is of a higher order, serving as the organs of Siva's omniscience and 
omnipotence. They are not 'senses' in the normal sense of the word. 
Yogaraja illustrates this point by quoting the Saiva Svetasvataropanisad: 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 151 

Seeming to possess the quality (guria) of all the 
senses, It is devoid of all the senses; . . . 

Without foot or hand, He is swift and a seizer! 

He sees without eye, He hears without ear! 
He knows whate'er is to be known; Him there is 

none who knows! 

Men call Him the Great Primeval Person. 74 

The outer circle of the physical senses goes through three phases 
during the act of perception. 

1) The initial outpouring of sensory activity (pravrtti). This 
phase corresponds to the initial unfolding of the senses towards their 
object when they lace* it and the subject is intent (unmukha) on its 

2) The initial phase intensified or stabilized (sthiti). At this stage 
the senses are actively affected by their object which they now clearly 
perceive and which abides at one with their field of awareness 
(gr hit art havisranty avast ha). 

3) When their operation reaches a fruitful conclusion, the object 
is abandoned and sensory activity merges with the undifferentiated 
awareness of pure consciousness and so comes to a halt. 75 

At the higher level of consciousness, when the outer circle of 
the physical senses is recognised to be one with the inner circle of 
goddesses, these three moments of perception are seen to correspond 
to the three moments of creation, persistence and destruction. As 
Ksemaraja says: 

Even when the Supreme Lord resides in the body, He effects 
the creation and destruction of the five-fold universe of form [taste, 
touch, smell and sound] by the expansion (unmllana) and contraction 
(nimllana) of the senses. 76 

When the wheel of sensory energies contracts, it returns to its 
Centre, the Heart of consciousness where it reposes, to then expand 
from it. Then the Heart, like a vast lake full to overflowing, again 
pours the currents of sensory activity out into the external world. 77 Thus: 

The channels of the senses by which the yogi enjoys the pleasure 
of the objects of sense are those through which he fills the three worlds 
with the consciousness emitted from his own Heart. 78 

152 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The senses are outer, subsidiary cycles of conscious energy 
(anucakra), revolving around the core or primary cycle (mukhyacakra) 
of pure consciousness. They scintillate with the diversity of sensations 
and resonate in the field of their awareness like the feathers of a peacock 
unfurled and folded back in the ecstasy of its dance. 79 Ultimately 
it is Siva Himself Who, for His own pleasure, 80 extends and withdraws 
them, 81 not the individual soul. The outward movement of the senses 
is the creative flow of consciousness from the subject who, like an 
ocean, is the source of the waves of their activity and the final resting 
place of the flow of the rivers of sensations and thought-forms that 
unfold through the arising of the power of each of the senses. 82 The 
Stanzas on Vibration declare: 

Indeed the individual soul does not activate the impulse of the 
will [which directs the body's activity] by himself alone but through 
his contact with [his] own [inner] strength {bald) made in such a way 
that he identifies with it [thus acquiring its power]. 83 

The close contact between the senses and universal consciousness 
vitalises them and sets them in motion. They share in the properties 
of consciousness, just as a heated iron ball can burn, cook or give out 
light. 84 Spanda doctrine does not agree with the Sarnkhya view that 
the individual soul (purusa) alone stimulates activity in the objective 
sphere (prakrti) by the contact he makes with it. The soul can do this 
only because universal consciousness animates him. Moreover, 
consciousness, which has the power to impel this activity, cannot 
itself be inactive as the Sarnkhya maintains. The influence it has on 
lifeless matter implies an active exertion. 85 This activity is the subtle, 
inner outpouring of the Self (svatmocchalatta) within the Self. Outside 
the confines of time and space, in the centre of the circle of the senses, 
this inner activity initiates the expansion (prasara) of the flow of 
conscious energy. As the pure exertion (udyoga, udyama) of Being 
(bhava), it is the source of the initial unfolding (unmesa) of Becoming. 86 
Ksemaraja explains: 

[By] 'exertion' (udyama) is [meant] the emergence of the supreme 
[level of] intuition (pratibha) which is the sudden outpouring of the 
[immanent and transcendental] unfolding of the reflective awareness 
of pure consciousness. 87 

The direct, intuition (pratibha) of reality, free of thought-constructs, 
is the supreme power (parasakti) of consciousness. The yogi can gain 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 153 

this pure intuitive awareness by grasping the initial expansion (unmesa) 
of consciousness which engenders the emergence of thought and the 
activity of the senses. It can be discovered in the subtle Centre, between 
one thought and the next. The Stanzas on Vibration teach: 

The expansion of consciousness that takes place when one is 
engaged in a single thought should be known to be the source from 
whence another arises. One should experience that for oneself! 88 

This does not mean that the unfolding expansion of consciousness 
{unmesa) is an intermittent, transitory occurrence. 89 As the source 
of all thought, including the notions of past, present and future, 90 it 
stands outside the confines of time. Consciousness is in a state of 
perpetual expansion. It is an ever developing process, a tiny part of 
which we observe as the flow of events around us and the thoughts and 
feelings within us. The totality of this process can never be grasped 
objectively. Objectivity is a state of fragmentation (bheda) in which 
discrete elements are discernible and mutually distinguished as individual, 
specifically definable entities. It is the realm within which thought 
and language operate. To grasp reality in its completeness, we must 
go beyond the partial representations of thought and speech. To 
experience the primordial source and basis of all things, we must pierce 
through the outer periphery of thought and plunge into the Centre, 
to discover the instant in which thought, and with it, the sense of 
diversity, initially emerges. Ksemaraja cites a practice from the 
Vijnanabhairava through which the yogi can achieve this state of 

Checking [the movement of] attention (cit) once it has quit its 
object, it must not [be allowed] to move to any other; contemplation 
(bhavana) then blossoms forth by [experiencing] the state in the 
centre between them (tanmadhyabhava). 91 

Left unattended and undisciplined, awareness spontaneously 
shifts from one object of thought to the next. The transition from one 
to the other entails a movement through a state of pure indeterminate 
(nirvikalpa) awareness divested of all thought-forms and perceptions. 
The yogi who succeeds in checking the movement of his attention, 
experiences within himself the subsidence of thought into the emptiness 
of the Centre which unfolds full of the powerful pulsation of consciousness 
within which all objectivity merges and becomes one 92 in the trans- 
cendental outpouring (lokottarollasa) of its aesthetic rapture. 93 

1 54 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Turning in on himself, the yogi must exert his power of awareness 
to discern the vitality of his own blissful Spanda nature. Just as a distant 
object becomes more clearly visible by exerting an effort to perceive it, 
in the same way, through practice, the yogi's own Spanda nature becomes 
progressively more evident to him, 94 The effort the yogi exerts to free 
himself of ignorance is essentially one with the force of awareness 
that impels the senses and mind. This inner exertion is the basis of 
every means to liberation. Ultimately bestowing the bliss of self- 
realisation, it carries the yogi along the path to salvation with all its 
twists and turns like wind which blows a cloth in various directions. 95 
As the basis and ultimate goal of all yogic practice, this exertion is the 
pure wonder (camatkdra) inspired by the realisation of the essential 
identity of consciousness (cit) and being (sat). 96 As such it is the divine 
radiance (sphuratta) of the Heart of one's own consciousness 97 where 
the powers of will, knowledge and action merge in the harmony 
(samarasya) of bliss. 98 Thus the highest form of worship (varivasya) 
is the contemplation of the inner strength (bald) or universal exertion 
of one's own true nature. 99 

"One should examine [that reality]," says Ksemaraja, "with the 
exertion which is Bhairava's nature and is true service (sevana) to 
the integral inner nature [of all things] and the unfolding of the activity 
of one's own vitality (ojas) which withdraws all duality [back into 
consciousness]." 100 

Mindful of the eternal joy (ahlada) of his inner strength, the yogi 
must give up all desire for the fleeting moments of petty pleasure 
(ksanikasukhalava) ]0] he may glean from outer objects. He must 
even give up the desire to achieve enlightenment and a reality (tattva) 
which can never be realised through a personal act of will. 102 In short, 
he must die to himself in an act of profound faith (sraddha) and adoration 
(adara) to find rest in the supreme reality free from the binding dichotomy 
of means and objectives (upeyopayabhava) — the reality of his perfected 
effort. The yogi, now full of devotion for this reality unfolding within 
himself and the universe (antarmukhatattva), merges into it and, 
by achieving the pure consciousness and bliss (cidananda) of the power 
(bala) of his own nature, achieves oneness. 103 

The yogi is firmly established in his true nature by recognising the 
creative unfolding (unmesa) of consciousness through which he is able 
to know all things, whether in the present, past or future. 104 Master 
of the vitality which gives life to his mind and body, he can strengthen 
it directly without need of food or drink, 105 or quit it at will to vivify 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 155 

that of another. 106 Experiencing the eternal satisfaction of his own 
uncreated nature, 107 the yogi is freed of disease and the infirmities of 
old age. 108 Inspired by this vitality, he has the inner strength to overcome 
the severest hardships and obstacles in the way of his ultimate goal. 109 
The Stanzas on Vibration explain: 

Lassitude ravages the body and this arises from ignorance but 
if this is eliminated by an expansion of consciousness (unmesa), how 
can [ignorance], deprived of its cause, continue to exist? 110 

Doubt (sanka) is the source of every spiritual ailment. 111 A man 
in doubt about his true nature, and the path to follow by which he 
may come to realise it, is constantly overcome by difficulties. 112 "Due 
to ignorance" teaches the Sarvacaratantra, "the deluded man is in doubt 
and thus [suffers the cycle] of birth and death." 113 Caught between 
conflicting alternatives, the mind shifts from one to the other becoming 
more entangled in its own thoughts as it does so. Doubt thus contracts 
consciousness 114 sullying it with the turbulence of confused thinking. 115 
At once both the root of "the ancient tree of transmigration" and the 
first sprout of its seed, 116 doubt deprives man of the innate bliss 
(sahajananda) of his own nature. 117 Like a thief it steals away the 
wealth of true knowledge and reduces man to an imagined state of 
poverty in which he feels hemmed in on all sides by constraints and 
limitations. 118 Ignorance and its sister, doubt, are the essence of all 
impurities (mala) which sully consciousness. To the degree in which 
the yogi is cured of this ailment, namely, the lassitude (glani) of doubt, 
his true nature becomes manifest, just as raw gold when heated is 
freed from dross. When the yogi recognises the all-powerful expansion 
(unmesa) of his consciousness, he is projected beyond the realm of 
relative distinctions between virtue and vice. Thus overcoming all 
doubt as to what he should or should not do, he penetrates into the 
pulsing Heart of Bhairava's consciousness. 119 As the Stanzas on 
Vibration say: 

An individual who [though] desirous of doing various things 
[but] is incapable of doing them due to his innate impurity, [experiences] 
the Supreme state when the disruption (ksobha) [of his ego] ceases. 
Then [the soul realises] that his [true] uncreated nature is [universal] 
agency and perceiving subjectivity and so he knows and does whatever 
[he] desires. 120 

The individual soul is a combination of conscious (cit) and 

156 The Doctrine of Vibration 

unconscious (acii) elements 121 brought together when he allows the 
power of his authentic nature to be obscured by his own impurity. 
This impurity is three-fold. The first is technically called the 'Impurity 
of Individuality' (anavamald). Due to this impurity, the individual 
soul fails to recognise his all-embracing fullness (purnata) and is 
disturbed by his craving for experience (bhoga) based on the unreasoned 
assumption that he is incomplete (apurnd) and in need of something 
outside himself. 122 Thus it manifests as desire or attachment (rdga). ]23 
At the same time it is primordial ignorance, 'the cause of the sprout of 
transmigration'. 124 As such, it works in two ways. Firstly, it deprives 
individual consciousness of freedom. The yogi affected by this impurity 
is incapable of entering or emerging out of the states of contemplation 
as he wishes. Secondly, this impurity renders the individual unconscious 
of his freedom, which for the yogi means that he is liable to lose 
consciousness of his true nature when he is not in a state of contemplative 
absorption. 125 

The second impurity is called the 'Impurity of Maya' (maylyamald). 
This comes into operation when consciousness has been contracted by 
the Impurity of Individuality. It limits the power of knowledge operating 
in the individual soul through the inner and outer organs of perception. 126 
Due to this impurity he perceives diversity everywhere. 127 Finally, the 
third impurity, that of Karma, comes into play when the individual, 
deprived of the freedom and knowledge of unconditioned consciousness, 
acts in his limited way prompted by desires and fears for his personal 
gain. Disturbed by these three impurities the soul cannot find rest 
in himself. When he manages, however, to overcome their disturbing 
influence, he experiences the pure vibration (spandd) of consciousness 
and through this recognition realises his essentially omnipotent and 
omniscient nature. 

In order to do this the yogi must first discover universal consciousness 
within himself. Secondly, he must learn to recognise his own Spanda 
energy operating in the outer world. In the first stage, the power which 
flows through the channels of the senses and mind is withdrawn into 
itself (saktisamkocd) through a powerful, one-pointed act of intro- 
spection. 128 If the yogi is successful, he comes to perceive the totality 
of existence reflected in his mind (cittd) and pervaded by the light 
of consciousness. Thus he enjoys the inner bliss of contemplative 
absorption with his eyes closed (nimllanasamadhi). As Bhairava 
instructs the goddess: 

Merging the senses in the centre, between the upper and lower 
lotuses [of the Heart], in the void of the Heart, with mind unwavering, 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 1 57 

O Fair One, attain the Supreme Bliss. 129 

The restriction imposed on the exertion (udyama) of the senses 
by the confining perception of outer objectivity is thus overcome and 
the senses move freely in the 'Sky of the Heart of Consciousness'. 130 
Like fuel in a fire, diversity is burnt to ashes and fused with the pure 
energy of one's own nature. 

All things deposited in the fire of the belly of one's own conscious- 
ness, suddenly (hafhatah) abandoning all distinctions, feed it with 
their own power. When the diversity which divides things is dissolved 
away by this violent digestion (hafhapaka), the deities of consciousness 
[i.e., the senses] devour the universe transformed [by this process] 
into the nectar [of T]. Once they are satisfied, they rest at one with 
the God (deva) Bhairava Who is the fullness of one's own nature and 
the Sky of Consciousness which, solitary, rests in the Heart. 131 

The yogi is now absorbed in the unfolding (unmesa) of consciousness 
and becomes one withjts universal vibration. 132 The 'Great Expansion' 
(mahavikdsa) of the ; yogi's consciousness unfolds as he penetrates 
and becomes one with the pure Being (satta) of Bhairava 133 and thus 
enjoys the bliss (bhoga) of simultaneously making all things one with 
consciousness, 'savouring' their essence and 'protecting' or securing 
their place and function within the economy of the Whole. 134 The yogi 
experiences consciousness expansion both inwardly and externally. 
When all things are absorbed in the introverted unity of his consciousness, 
it emits itself into itself freely without succession or division. In this 
way his consciousness also unfolds throughout the external world 
mediated by the senses divinised by the grace of his inner realisation 
and he perceives its transcendental nature immanentalise into the 
activities of the universe. His senses open up fully in an instant as the 
power hidden within consciousness expands out from it. 135 The state 
of absorption 'with the eyes closed' {nimllanasamadhi) thus leads 
spontaneously to a state of absorption 'with the eyes open' (unmilana- 
samadhi) and vice versa. The yogi, with the greatest respect and 
devotion for the reality now unfolding before him, must learn to unite 
these two forms of absorption and experience the underlying unity of 
his consciousness which pervades both simultaneously from the Centre 
between them. Ksemaraja explains: 

By [the practice] of introverted and extroverted absorption and 
by being firmly fixed in the Centre which pervades both simultaneously, 

158 The Doctrine of Vibration 

having laid hold of the fire-stick (arani) of their two-fold emanation 
(visarga) with all thought fallen away, the circle of the senses expands 
instantaneously. 136 

The activity of the senses is now unconditioned by time and space; 
free of all obstacles, they function perfectly. They unfold to fill the 
entire universe with the power of their awareness and thereby withdraw 
into their pure and undivided source — the omnipresent Lord they 
perceive in all things. This state of simultaneous expansion (yikasa) and 
contraction (sarfikoca) beyond both outward and inner movement 
is technica 1 y called Bhairavimudra. The experience of this attitude 
(mudra) o f awareness takes place thus: 

[If] you project the vision and all the other powers [of the senses] 
simultaneously everywhere onto their respective objects by the power 
of awareness, while remaining firmly established in the centre like a 
pillar of gold, you [will] shine as the One, the foundation of the 
universe. 137 

The One is the Lord of the Centre Who manifests all the deities 
of the inner circle as the essence of His pure awareness (svasamvittisara) 
together with the outer circle of the physical senses. 138 The power of 
awareness thus manifests itself on two levels simultaneously. It functions 
at the microcosmic level as the power of sensory awareness which 
apprehends specific objects in the field of individualised, embodied 
awareness. At the macrocosmic level it functions as the divine power 
of sensory awareness which apprehends the universal, cosmic object 
in the field of universal consciousness. Through the practice of 
Bhairavimudra these two aspects are experienced together in the 
blissful realisation that results from the union of the inner and outer 
states of absorption. 139 Thus, nothing that appears before him is any 
longer confined within the ridged structures of thought and, supportless, 
he becomes inwardly absorbed in Siva's consciousness. 140 Ksemaraja 
quotes an unknown Tantra as saying: 

With one's aim inside while gazing outside, eyes neither opening 
nor closing — this is Bhairava's Mudra kept secret in all the Tantras. 141 

During the initial instant of perception, T consciousness is 
manifestly apparent and the yogi, participating in its plenitude, 
observes the outer world without being attached to any particular 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 1 59 

or singling it out from any other, like a man who observes a city from a 
high mountain peak. 142 He sees the outer world reflected within his 
consciousness free of thought-constructs and so 'stamps* the outer on 
the inner while absorbing the object and means of knowledge in the 
pure subject which grasps them as the expansion of his own nature. 143 
K§emaraja says: 

By penetrating into Bhairavimudra, the yogi observes the vast 
totality of beings rising from, and dissolving into, the Sky [of conscious- 
ness], like a series of reflections appearing and disappearing inside 
a mirror. 144 

Through the practice of Bhairavimudra the yogi realises that he 
is the substratum consciousness (adhisfhatr) 145 which both underlies 
and is the essence of all things. He discovers that phenomena have no 
independent existence apart from him and so are, in this sense, void. 
At the same time, he realises that because all things are consciousness, 
they are far from unreal. He views the outer world yet sees it not. 
Beyond both Voidness and Non-voidness he penetrates into the Supreme 
Abode (pararn padam) of Siva's consciousness. 146 

[The powers of the senses] endowed with the attributes of the 
Great Union [between subject and object] whose form is the awakening 
of man's spiritual potential (kuntfalinf), fill [with consciousness] the 
outer clatter of diversity (bhedatfambara) born of its intense power 
and are then established in the unobscured abode of the void of 
consciousness to shine [there] eternally. Thus residing beyond Being 
and Non-being, the sole protector of the unity which is tranquil and 
expanding [consciousness], whose glory is all-embracing and form 
unobscured, is called Bhairavimudra. 141 

Through the practice of Bhairavimudra, the yogi unites the 
universal vibration of T consciousness with the individual pulsation 
of objectivised 'this' consciousness. The two aspects of consciousness 
are now in a state of equilibrium like the two pans of an evenly weighed 
balance 148 and the yogi experiences the pure knowledge (suddhavidya) 
that: 'I alone am all things'. Thus becoming the master of the Wheel of 
Energies he is free, like Siva, to create and destroy. 149 

When [the yogi] is well established, without wavering, solely 
in the integral egoity of his authentic nature, the Spanda principle, 
and is absorbed in contemplation (samavisfa), he becomes one with it 

160 The Doctrine of Vibration 

(tanmaya). Then . . . dissolving and creating the universe by means of 
his introverted and extroverted absorption, he destroys and creates 
all things out of Sarikara, his innate nature. [Thus] he assumes the 
state of the universal experiencer and having absorbed all that is to 
be experienced from [the grossest level] — Earth — to (the subtlest) — 
Siva — he reaches the state of the supreme subject by progressively 
recognising [his identity with Him]. 150 

Thus, introverted and extroverted absorption both lead to the 
recognition of the pulsation (spanda) of one's own consciousness. 1 51 
At the level of consciousness corresponding to Siva's basic state 
(saryibhavdvastha), the alternation from inner to outer is instantaneously 
resolved into the vibration of His nature. When the yogi finally comes 
to be constantly aware of this reality, his enlightenment is full and 
perfect. 152 Freed of all means (anupaya) and delighting in the power 
of his bliss (anandasakti), he knows and does whatever he pleases. 
The yogi seeking self-realisation must acquire mastery over this 
movement. Ksemaraja stresses that the Doctrine of Vibration teaches 
that liberation can only be achieved by first withdrawing all sense activity 
in introverted contemplation (nimilanasamadhi) to then experience 
the 'Great Expansion' (mahdvikdsd) of consciousness while recognising 
this to be a spontaneous process within it. 153 This is done through the 
practice of Kramamudra. A passage from the now lost Kramasiitra 

Although the adept's attention [may be] outwardly directed, 
he enjoys contemplative absorption through the introverted aspect of 
Kramamudra. Initially he turns inward from the outside world and 
[then] from within [himself] he exits into the outer world under the 
influence of his absorption. Thus the sequence (krama) in this attitude 
(mudra) [ranges through] both inner and outer. 154 

The yogi must pervade the surface level of awareness (yyutthana) 
with the same bliss he experiences plunging into the depths of con- 
templative absorption (samadhi). Submerging himself and emerging 
repeatedly from samadhi, he eventually recognises that the unity of 
consciousness pervades both states: 

The best of yogi's, who has achieved a state of complete absorption 
even when risen from meditation, [inwardly] vibrating like a drunkard 
in blissful inebriation from the after-effects of the nectar of con- 
templation, sees all things dissolving in the Sky of Consciousness 
like a cloud in the autumn sky. He plunges repeatedly within himself 

Divine Body and Sacred Circle of the Senses 161 

and becomes aware of his identity with consciousness by the practice 
of introverted contemplation. Thus even when he is said to have 
risen from absorption, he is one with [his] experience of it. 155 

Ksemaraja goes on to explain that this practice is called 'Mudra' 
because it both fills the adept with bliss (mud) and is itself the bliss of 
consciousness. Moreover, it dissolves away (dra) all bondage and 
'stamps' the universe of experience with the seal (mudra) of the fourth 
state (turiya) of enlightened consciousness beyond, and including, 
the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is called 'Krama' 
because it is the root source of all emanation and all other conscious 
processes which succeed one another in ordered sequence (krama) 
and is, at the same time, their successive (krama) appearance as well. 156 

By the practice of Kramamudra the opposites fuse and Siva and 
Sakti unite. They yogi comes to experience the simultaneous pervasion 
of all the lower, grosser categories of existence by the higher and the 
presence of the lower in the higher. Commencing his practice in a low 
form of Bhairavimudra, the yogi conjoins the outer with the inner; 
then, in Kramamudra, he fills both the outer with the inner and the 
inner with the outer. When he achieves perfection in this two-fold 
movement, he attains to the highest form of Bhairavimudra in which 
the two merge completely in the experience of the absolute (anuttara), 
free of all differentiation and polarities. If he fails to maintain awareness 
of this state, he again falls into Kramamudra until he has finally 
completely merged all the highest states in the lower and the lower in 
the higher. He then no longer needs to resort to any means (anupayd) 
to achieve liberation. All he says or does, anything he perceives or 
thinks, instantly occasions in him the highest level of consciousness. 
Thus the fruit of Bhairavimudra is the wonder (camatkara) or amazement 
(vismaya) that overcomes the yogi when he reaches the plane of union 
(yogabhumika) y xsl where all opposites merge in the radiance of the 
Great Light of consciousness. The Stanzas on Vibration teach: 

How can one who, as if astonished, beholds his own nature as 
that which sustains [the existence of everything] be subject to this 
painful round of transmigration (kusrti)? l5% 

The yogi, recognising his true nature to be the supreme subject, 
is astonished to suddenly discover that the individual he thought 
he was, caught up in the trammels of thought and living in a world 
enmeshed in the web of time and space, does not really exist at all. 159 
He experiences a 'turning about' (paravrtti) in the deepest seat of 

162 The Doctrine of Vibration 

consciousness as he penetrates his true nature. The sudden eruption 
of this intuition (pratibha) arouses in him a cry of amazement as he 
transcends all thought-constructs and, perfectly absorbed in his own 
nature, is liberated. 


The Path to Liberation 

Essentially, Spanda doctrine is concerned with two matters. The first 
is to impart to those who are fit to receive the teachings a deeper 
understanding of the ultimate goal of life (upeya). When we have 
understood what truly benefits us and is worth attaining and what, on the 
contrary, is of no real value but stands in the way of this attainment, we can 
begin to make progress towards our goal. This is Spanda doctrine's second 
concern, namely, to show the way in which we can develop spiritually 
through Siva's grace and the right application of the means to realisation 
that it teaches. When both these aspects of the teaching have been 
correctly understood and applied, the Spanda yogi achieves a clear and 
permanent realisation of his goal and is liberated, thus fulfilling the 
ultimate aim of the teaching. The Doctrine of Vibration is not meant for 
the spiritually dull. It is not for the worldly whose consciousness, clouded 
by ignorance, is as if dreaming, even during the waking state of daily life, 
the dream of its own thought-constructs. 1 The teachings are meant for 
those who are awake (prabuddha), those who, full of faith and reverence, 
are always alert and intent on discerning the true nature of ultimate reality. 

This reality is understood in three basic ways. The first is purely 
transcendental. The Stanzas choose this aspect as the one which formally 
defines it most specifically. Ultimate reality transcends all the opposites, 
including subject and object. This does not mean, however, that it is an 
unconscious void, 2 a mere absence of all existence. In fact, this negative 
characterisation of reality (which includes also a denial of all that is 
unconscious) implies a positive immanence in which the opposites are 

164 The Doctrine of Vibration 

united in the oneness of pure consciousness that is equally Siva and 
Spanda, His universal activity. These two seemingly contrasting aspects 
are reconciled in the third, namely, reality understood as the essential 
nature of all things. Although universal and everywhere the same, it is 
understood to be the essential and specific nature of each existent as its 
'own nature' (svabhava). In the case of the individual soul it is even more 
specific, more personal as his own 'own nature' (svasvabhava). Belonging 
to none other than oneself it is the pure subjectivity who perceives, 
experiences, enjoys, reflects, thinks and senses as well as being the 
conscious agent who creates every possible form of experience in all the 
states of consciousness. 3 The liberating knowledge of reality thus 
corresponds to our regaining possession of ourselves (svatmagraha). We 
must lay hold of ourselves and abide in our authentic nature. Reality 
coincides with our own most fundamental state of being (svasthiti), free of 
all contrasts and contradictions. Once we have overcome the negative 
forces that arise from our ignorance and prevent us from abiding in 
ourselves, we are liberated. To do this, we must penetrate through the 
pulsing fluctuations of objectively experienced states and perceptions at 
the surface level of consciousness and gain insight into the timeless rhythm 
of our own nature manifest in the universal arising and falling away of all 
things. We are not freed of the trammels of perpetual change by setting it 
aside; on the contrary, we must gain insight into the recurrent cycles of 
creation, persistence and destruction, or else be bound by our ignorance. 4 
This spiritual ignorance consists essentially of our contracted state of 
consciousness and so can only be effectively countered by expanding it 5 to 
reveal our own authentic nature as this expanded state itself, which is the 
universal vibration (samanyaspanda) of consciousness. The Spanda- yogi 
treads the Path of Consciousness Expansion. The movement from the 
contracted to the expanded state marks the transition from ignorance to 
understanding, from the dispersion and incompleteness of a form of 
consciousness entirely centred on an objectively perceived and discursively 
represented reality to a direct, intuitive awareness of the unity and integral 
wholeness of our own absolute Spanda nature. Along the way to this 
supreme realisation consciousness develops, as veil after veil is lifted, until 
it becomes full and perfect in the absolute which encompasses within itself 
all possible formats of experience. As Abhinava says: 

[This realisation] is the supreme limit of plenitude and as such there 
can be no higher attainment. Any [other] attainment [we can] conceive 
issues from a state that falls short of [this] perfection. Once* [this] 
uncreated fullness has been attained, pray tell, what other fruit can there 
be [beyond it]? 6 

Path to Liberation 165 

The fettered soul's contracted state of consciousness binds him 
because he is deprived thereby of the subtle, intuitive insight into the 
underlying unity of existence and his attention is focused instead on its 
gross, outer diversity easily apparent to everybody, however restricted his 
consciousness may be. 7 However, although the fettered soul in this 
state is ignorant of this unity, this does not mean that his knowledge of 
diversity is false. Ignorance entails a form of knowledge which, although 
quite correct, is binding. 8 We are not absolutely ignorant of reality for if 
we were we would be totally unconscious. Spiritual ignorance is always 
linked with some degree of consciousness. Those subject to the round of 
birth and death are not inert clods of earth. 9 Thus, although ignorance 
obscures consciousness, it is wrong to think of it, as dualist Saivites do, in 
terms of a defiling impurity that shrouds it like a cloth covering ajar. 10 
Spiritual ignorance can be nothing but consciousness itself, albeit in a 
limited state. Siva, Who is universal consciousness, is the innate nature of 
both its contracted and expanded states, 11 both of which are forms of 
knowledge, namely: 

1 ) Supreme Knowledge (parajnana) defined as the revelation of one's 
own innate nature as the one reality which is the Being of all things. 12 

2) Inferior Knowledge (aparajndna) which Jayaratha explains results 
from the mental activity (yyapard) of the individual subject whose 
consciousness is contracted. It consists of the mental representations 
(vikalpa) he forms of himself and his object, of the type i know this'. 13 The 
lower knowledge obscures the higher and binds the soul by breaking up his 
direct, pervasive awareness of his own pure consciousness nature, free of 
mental representation. 14 The Stanzas on Vibration teach: 

Operating in the field of the subtle elements, the arising of mental 
representation marks the disappearance of the flavour of the supreme 
nectar of immortality; due to this [man] forfeits his freedom. 15 

As we have already seen, 16 three factors are necessary for perception 
and thought to be possible, namely, the perceiving subject, the means of 
knowledge and the object perceived. Rajanaka Rama, in his commentary 
on the Stanza cited above, explains at length that these three factors 
correspond to three major divisions in the lower thirty-one categories of 
existence, namely: 

1) The object. This consists essentially of the five primary 
sensations which are the subtle elements {tanmatra) of smell, taste, sight, 
touch and sound along with the five gross elements — earth, water, fire, 
air and ether — of which these sensations are the perceivable qualities. 

166 The Doctrine of Vibration 

2) The means of knowledge. This consists of the senses and the 
inner mental organ. 

3) The subject. At this level, the subject is the individual soul 
(purusa) whose consciousness is contracted by the five obscuring 
coverings (kancukas) of limited knowledge and action, attachment, 
natural law and time along with Maya, their source. 

All these categories belong to the Impure Creation (asuddhasrsti), 
which is the sphere of Maya where the lower order of knowledge operates 
and subject and object are divided. Above them are five more categories 
which belong to the Pure Creation (suddhasrsfi) where subject and object 
are still united. The highest of those categories are Siva and Sakti. 
Combined they represent the state of pure T consciousness and its sentient 
subjectivity (upalabdhrta), respectively. The next category is called 
Sadasiva. Here faint traces of objectivity appear in the pervasive, 
undivided consciousness of Siva and Sakti. Consciousness, now full of the 
power of knowledge (jnanasakti), views the All in a state of withdrawal 
(nimesa), shining within, and at one with its own nature. T consciousness 
predominates over 'this' consciousness which it encompasses in the 
awareness that: 'I am this [universe]' (aham-idam). Next comes the 
category 'Isvara' corresponding to the awareness: 'this (universe) is me' 
(idam-aham). 'This' consciousness takes the upperhand over T 
consciousness and unfolds externally full of the creative power of action 
(kriya&akti). The All now becomes more clearly manifest as an 
independent reality. It is still experienced as one with consciousness but is 
no longer fully merged within it. Finally, when both subjective and 
objective aspects share an equal status in the two-fold awareness that: 'I 
am this (universe) and this (universe) is me (ahamidam-idamaham)\ Pure 
Knowledge (fuddhavidya), the last of these categories, emerges. 

The pure categories are the experience of the impure categories when 
they are recognised to be one with consciousness. They are experienced 
within the domain of the pure universal subject the enlightened yogi 
realises himself to be. Mental representations (yikalpa) emerge from this 
pure awareness and subside into it in consonance with the rhythm of the 
emanation and withdrawal of the lower categories. Impelled by the 
universal will, this movement is spontaneous and free. Free of all hopes 
and fears the enlightened yogi sees all things as part of this eternal cosmic 
game, played in harmony with the blissful rhythm of his own sportive 
nature at one with all things. The Stanzas on Vibration teach: 

Everything arises [out of) the individual soul and he is all things. 
Being aware of them, he perceives his identity [with them]. Therefore 

Path to Liberation 167 

there is no state in the thoughts of words or [their] meanings that is not 
Siva. It is the enjoyer alone who always and everywhere abides as the 
object of enjoyment. Or, constantly attentive, and perceiving the entire 
universe as play, he who has this awareness (sawvitti) is undoubtedly 
liberated in this very life. 17 

According to the Doctrine of Vibration, only liberation in this life 
(jivanmukti) is authentic liberation. 18 Liberation after death (yideha- 
mukti) in some form of disembodied state free of all perceptions and 
notions of the world of diversity is not the ultimate goal. Ksemaraja 
stresses that liberation is only possible by realising one's own identity with 
the whole universe, however difficult this may be. 19 Similarly, he 
maintains that the suspension of all mental and sensory activity, which 
takes place in the introverted absorption of contemplation with the eyes 
closed (nimilanasamadhi) that leads to identification with transcendent 
consciousness is complemented and fulfilled by the cosmic vision had 
through the expansion of consciousness that takes place in contemplative 
absorption with the eyes open (unmilanasamadhi). 20 Consequently, 
Ksemaraja explains that the first of the three sections, into which he 
divides the Stanzas, deals with the former mode of contemplation and the 
second section with the latter. Significantly, the last Stanza of the second 
section ends with the declaration that 'this is the initiation that bestows 
Siva's true nature'. 21 In other words, this realisation, attained through the 
expanding consciousness of contemplation with the eyes open, initiates the 
yogi into the liberated state, which is identification with Siva whose body 
is the universe. 22 

In order to attain this expanded state of liberated consciousness, the 
yogi must find a spiritual guide because the Master (guru) is the means to 
realisation. 23 The Master is for his disciple Siva Himself for it is he who 
through his initiation, teaching and grace, reveals the secret power of 
spiritual discipline. 24 Instructing in the purport of scripture he does more 
than simply explain its meaning: he transmits the realisation it can bestow. 
The Master is at one with Siva's divine power through which he enlightens 
his disciple. It is this power that matters and makes the Master a true 
spiritual guide, 25 just as it was this same power that led the disciple to him 
in his quest for the path that leads to the tranquility that can only be found 
'in the abode beyond mind'. 26 The Master is the ferry that transports the 
disciple over the ocean of thought 27 — if, that is, the disciple is ready. The 
disciple must be 'awake' (prabuddha) 2% attending carefully to the pulse of 
consciousness. This alert state of wakefulness is at once the keen sensitivity 
of insight as well as the receptivity of one who has no other goal to pursue 
except enlightenment. 

168 The Doctrine of Vibration 

The highest, most perfect relationship the disciple can have with his 
Master is such as it is with Siva Himself: one of identity. The exchange 
that takes place between them is an internal dialogue within universal 
consciousness, their common identity (svabhava). Limiting itself to a 
point source (anu) and obscured by the thought-constructs born of doubt 
and ignorance, consciousness assumes the guise of the disciple who seeks 
to attain the expanded fullness of his Master's consciousness. 29 The 
Master, on the other hand, embodies the aspect of consciousness which 
responds to the inquiring consciousness of his disciple. 30 Free of the 
notions of 'self and 'other', when the disciple is liberated by his grace, it is 
the Master who in reality liberates himself. 31 

Although Ksemaraja assures us that the Master can by himself 
enlighten his disciple by the initiation he imparts to him 32 and the other 
means (yukti) n he adopts, even so, he is not the only guide on the path. 
Apart from the Master there is scripture and, above all, one's own personal 
experience, 34 because, as Abhinava says: 

The knowledge [acquired] by gradually [coming to understand the 
meaning of] the scriptures and following the Master [who knows them] 
leads, [when] confirmed for oneself, to the realisation of one's own 
identity with Bhairava. 35 

It is important to know the scriptures. God reveals Himself through 
them; they are one of the forms in which He is directly apparent in this 
world. 36 They teach man what is worth attaining and what should be 
avoided 37 and so like a boat convey him across the ocean of profane 
existence (samsara) to the other shore where God's true nature is revealed 
to him. 38 However, the study of the scriptures is of value only if 
accompanied by the spiritual knowledge that results from personal 
experience. Mahesvarananda writes: 

Being well versed in the nature of Deity is one thing, but being well 
versed in the sacred scripture is another, just as the peace of that Abode 
is one thing and what worldly people experience is another. 39 

Vasugupta, who found the Sivasutra, knew the means to realisation 
(yukti) as well as the scriptures and had fully experienced the one ultimate 
reality. Therefore, Ksemaraja declares him to be amongst the best of 
teachers. 40 The Stanzas on Vibration (that Ksemaraja attributes to 
Vasugupta) accordingly transmit the secrets of the Sivasutra in accord 
with scripture, sound reasoning and personal experience. 41 The latter is 

Path to Liberation 1 69 

particularly important for the Spanda yogi; he is not interested in wasting 
his time in useless discussion about the experience of consciousness 
expansion and its fruits, for that can only be known for oneself. 42 The yogi 
can achieve this experience either through faith in the Master or personal 
insight (svapratyayatah) acquired by unswerving devotion to God. 
Ksemaraja accordingly quotes a passage from the Bhagavadgita where 
Krsna says: 

Those I deem to be the best yogis who fix their thoughts on Me and 
serve Me, ever integrated [in themselves], filled with the highest faith. 43 

But while the yogi's development depends on faith and personal 
experience of the higher states of consciousness, he can, and must, 
strengthen his conviction in the light of reason. When reason (upapatti) 
and direct insight (upalabdhi) work together, they serve as a means to 
liberation. Reason alone cannot help us, but when it is based on an 
intuitive insight of fundamental principles along with a direct experience 
of reality, error is eradicated and the yogi is freed. 44 In this way the 
Awakened yogi realizes his inherent spiritual power (svabala) with which 
he exerts himself to distinguish between the motions of individualised 
consciousness and the universal vibration (samanyaspanda) of the 
collective consciousness that is their ultimate ground and firm 
foundation. 45 Thus, although the doctrine taught in the Stanzas on 
Vibration accords with scripture, 46 it is supported by reason and above all 
by personal experience. Thus, for example, the seventeenth Stanza 
describes the difference in the manner in which the Well Awakened and the 
unawakened experience their own nature (atmopalambha)* 1 while the 
eighteenth describes the experience of the Well Awakened in the three 
states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. 48 Indeed, Rajanaka Rama, one 
of the commentators, explains that the first sixteen Stanzas establish on 
the basis of personal experience (svanubhava) that one's own true nature is 
independent of the body. 49 Similarly, the remaining Stanzas also discuss 
the direct experience of one's own nature, but this time as the unity of all 
things. This direct experience, in its diverse aspects, is both the means by 
which the yogi develops his consciousness as well as his ultimate goal. 

Spanda practice is based solely on the processes inherent in the act of 
awareness and hence on the self-evident (svatahsiddha) fact of being 
conscious. Even so, this does not mean that sound argument is useless. 
Right reasoning clears the understanding of false notions; it uproots, as it 
were, the tree of duality. 50 Leading the pilgrim on the path of truth along 
the right road of the highest doctrine, it protects him from falling to lower 
views. As such, it is the best limb of Yoga and, indeed, the only truly 

170 The Doctrine of Vibration 

effective one. 51 Right reasoning is based on, and ultimately blossoms fully 
into, the Pure Knowledge (suddhavidya) that: *I am this universe and this 
universe is me'. 52 Jn this way argument not only sustains doctrine but also 
leads to the firm conviction that results in, and essentially is, the 
recognition of one's own authentic identity as Siva. 

All those who have commented on the Stanzas on Vibration, 
particularly Ksemaraja, are concerned to establish on a sound logical basis 
that the intuitive awareness of one's own inherent existence is valid. The 
Doctrine of Vibration seeks to show the Awakened yogi the way in which 
he can make the experience of his own pure subjectivity, the pulse of 
consciousness, permanent. It therefore concerns the experiencing subject 
most intimately. This is true of the philosophy of Recognition of the 
Pratyabhijna school as well. However, the liberating recognition of one's 
own authentic identity that it teaches allows for no intermediary between it 
and the lower states of consciousness. The yogi must grasp reality directly 
in an instant. This is only possible through a firm conviction of the Self s 
supreme identity, and argument in the philosophy of Recognition serves a 
key role to instil this conviction in him. The Doctrine of Vibration, on the 
other hand, chalks out a path to this recognition through the experience of 
Spanda based on practice (abhydsa), 53 and so argument plays a secondary 
role. Thus, although Ksemaraja insists that an understanding of the 
philosophy of Recognition is essential for the Spanda yogi, he excuses 
himself with the 'tender hearted' who prefer the intimacy of a personal 
experience of Siva and His Spanda nature, rather than the intricacies of 
philosophy. Accordingly, when his discussion begins to seem too long and 
complex he refers his reader to the Pratyabhijna to find there the 
arguments which establish the permanent existence of the Self. 54 His need 
to philosophise and refute possible objections is not however entirely his 
own. As he himself points out, the author of the Stanzas on Vibration 
similarly takes time, at least in one place, to do the same even though 
philosophy is clearly not his main concern. 55 Let us return now then to that 
which does concern Spanda doctrine directly, namely, practice. 

The Means to Realisation 

As a sequel to this book we will publish a translation of the Stanzas on 
Vibration along with a number of hitherto untranslated commentaries. In 
that work we will present an analysis of the practices and doctrines taught 
in the Stanzas to show how commentators have interpreted and extended 
them further by their own contributions drawn from various sources. 
Therefore, in order to avoid unnecessary repetition, we conclude this 

Path to Liberation 171 

volume with a brief exposition of the basic principles underlying Spanda 
practice framed in the wider context of Kashmiri Saivism as a whole. We 
are aided in this task by Abhinavagupta's brilliant synthesis of Saiva 
Tantra into Trika doctrine presented by him in the Light of the Tantras 
(Tantraloka). There, he divides all practice into four basic categories 
which he calls the 'Four-fold Knowledge' (jnanacatuska). 56 These four 
categories are exemplified by the many means to realisation presented in 
the course of his systematic exposition of the Saiva ritual, cosmography, 
theology, metaphysics and Yoga that he incorporates into Trika. 

Abhinavagupta himself realised the highest levels of consciousness 
through this 'Four-fold Knowledge' taught him by his Trika teacher, 
Sambhunatha. 57 This great yogi taught Abhinavagupta much about the 
rituals and practices of the Saiva Tantras known in Kashmir, particularly 
the Malinivijayottaratantra upon which the Light of the Tantras is 
avowedly based. Even so, Sambhunatha was not himself a native of 
Kashmir but, coming from outside, probably brought with him new 
interpretations of the Tantras which contributed to the further 
development of the Tantric schools of Kashmiri Saivism. 58 Thus, 
although three of the four categories of practice are defined in the 
Malinivijaya, there is no evidence to suggest that they were known, or in 
any way extensively applied as categories of interpretation, by anyone 
before Abhinavagupta. They do, nonetheless, characterise remarkably 
well the forms of practice outlined in Kashmiri Saiva works that precede 
him. 59 This is particularly true of the Sivasutra and, consequently, of the 
Stanzas on Vibration which is closely related to it. 60 Significantly, only 
K§emaraja finds these categories of practice exemplified in these works. 
As he was a direct disciple of Abhinava, this should not surprise us. Again, 
that other writers do not do so indicates nothing more than the fact that 
they lived before Abhinava and so had no knowledge of them. It does not 
mean that they are not applicable to Spanda practice. Indeed, K§emaraja 
makes an important contribution to a deeper understanding of it by 
locating it in this wider context. Significantly, he calls the three sections of 
the Sivasutra 'Expansions of Consciousness' (unmesa). Although this is 
one of many possible ways of naming sections or chapters of a Sanskrit 
work, 61 clearly what K§emaraja is implying is that each section of the 
Sivasutra deals with one of the three basic formats of practice that leads to 
consciousness expansion. 62 Thus although the Spanda texts themselves do 
not attempt to present a universal typology of spiritual discipline, Spanda 
practice can be, and has been, characterised in terms of these basic types 
which we shall now outline. 

Abhinavagupta calls each category of practice a 'means to realisation' 
(upaya). This does not imply that there is just one means to realisation 

172 The Doctrine of Vibration 

belonging to each category, but rather that all forms of spiritual discipline 
are based on one or other of these principles. Once we have understood 
clearly what these principles are, we can identify the categories to which 
any given practice belongs. Kashmiri Saivism does not reject any form of 
spiritual discipline which genuinely elevates consciousness. It is, in a sense, 
a science of spirituality which allows for the possibility that any discipline 
may be effective, although some may be more so than others. While no 
limit is set on the number of possible means to realisation the yogi may 
adopt, he should dedicate himself to the means most proximate to the 
reality he seeks to know. 63 Accordingly, the Master first instructs in the 
highest means and then tries lower ones if he fails to liberate his disciple. 
Thus the first section of the Sivasiitra, according to Ksemaraja, deals with 
the Divine Means {sambhavopaya), which is the highest of the three. 64 
The second section is concerned with the Empowered Means (saktopaya) 
and the last with the Individual Means (anavopaya), which is the lowest. 
Again, although the Malinivijayatantra defines the lowest means first, 
when Abhinava quotes from it, he starts from the highest. He also explains 
them individually in this order in separate chapters of his Light of the 
Tantras. Developing in different ways from differing initial states, the 
three types of practice lead to corresponding forms of mystical absorption 
(samavesa) that, although fundamentally identical, are distinguished on 
this basis and defined accordingly as follows: 

The Divine (sambhava) form of mystical absorption is said to be 
that which is born of an intense awakening of consciousness [brought 
about by the Master in the disciple] 65 free of all thought-constructs. 

'Empowered' {sakta) is the name given here to the mystical 
absorption attained by pondering mindfully (cetasa) on reality [directly], 
unmediated [by other means, be it] the recitation of Mantra (uccara) [or 
anything else]. 

The absorption attained by the recitation of Mantra, postures of ihe 
body (karana), meditation, the mystical letters (varna) and the formation 
of supports (sthanaprakalpana) is rightly called individual' (anava). b6 

Basically, these definitions characterise the three categories of 
practice in the following manner: 

The Divine Means (Sambhavopaya). This means functions within the 
undivided realm of Siva's pure consciousness which, free of all thought- 
constructs, is the universal subject Who contains within Himself all 
objectivity. Practising this means the yogi is carried to the supreme level 
of consciousness by a powerful and direct awareness of reality awakened 

Path to Liberation 173 

in him by Siva's grace through which he attains identity with Siva without 
resorting to any form of meditation. 67 

The Empowered Means (Saktopaya). The practices belonging to this 
means are all internal. They function within the mental sphere (cetas) by 
reconverting thought (yikalpd) back into the pure consciousness which is 
its source and essence. Practice here is centred on the flux of perception 
(pramand) through which the cyclic activity of the powers of the senses and 
mind merge with the cycle of universal consciousness (samvkcakra). 

The Individual Means (anavopaya). This means operates in the individual 
soul's (anu) sphere of consciousness. Any spiritual discipline which 
involves the recitation of Mantras, posturing of the body, meditation on a 
particular divine or cosmic form and concentration on a fixed point, either 
within the body or outside it, belongs to this category. This Means, like 
the Empowered Means, is concerned with the purification of thought 
(vikalpasamskara), which in this case is achieved through the 
contemplative absorption that results from a meditative awareness 
sustained by objective supports. These, ranging from subtle to gross, may 
be centred in the intellect, vital breath and body or external physical 
objects. Included, therefore, in this means are all forms of outer ritual. 

It is in the sphere of Siva's power that a distinction arises between 
Him as the goal and the means to attain to Him (upeyopayabhava). It is 
here also that Siva freely chooses to create the many means to realisation 68 
as aspects of His power which reveal the freedom of His universal 
consciousness. Thus, corresponding to the four basic categories of 
practice, there are four basic aspects of Siva's power. Ranging from the 
highest to lowest, these are the powers of bliss, will, knowledge and action. 
Again, these means operate on the three levels of Siva's universal 
manifestation while the fourth means — Anupaya — is transcendental. 
These levels are the Supreme (para), Middling (parapara) and Inferior 
(apara), which correspond to the perception of unity (abheda), unity-in- 
diversity (bhedabheda) and multiplicity (bheda). 69 According to Trika 
doctrine these levels correspond to those of Siva, Sakti and the individual 
soul (nara) respectively. 

We can also distinguish between types of practice according to the 
manner in which they develop. Thus, some reach their goal instantly 
without any intervening stages (akrama) through an intense act of will. 
Other practices develop in parallel with the cognitive processes operating 
within consciousness which are, as we have seen, explicable only in terms 

174 The Doctrine of Vibration 

of a succession of simultaneously experienced metaphysical events. Based 
on a direct intuition of reality which, although immediate, matures 
progressively as the factors which obscure it are removed, these practices 
are both direct as well as successive (kramdkrama). Finally, there are those 
practices that develop progressively as consciousness unfolds in successive 
stages (krama). The three categories of practice can be distinguished in this 
way because they are each related to different phases in the cognitive cycle. 
Each act of perception starts with a direct intuition of objectivity in its 
most generic form through the initial awareness the subject has of himself. 
He then defines his specific object by dividing it off from all others to 
analyse it part by part through a series of mental representations of a 
discursive order confined to the object previously determined 70 by the 
subject's direct intuitive awareness. This intuition, independent of thought 
and objectivity 71 and hence free of all gradations (tdratamya), is the form 
of awareness the yogi who practices the Divine Means (sdmbhavopdya) 
exercises. It is the consciousness of the subject free of all thought- 
constructs (avikalpa), comparable to the initial certainty we have that two 
and two equals four without need of further analysis. Practising the 
Empowered Means (sdktopdya) the yogi links together the discrete parts 
with the whole, that is, himself as the subject with his object, through the 
flux of the means of knowledge (pramdna) which flows between them. It 
is like; adding two and two together. The Individual Means (driavopdya) 
deals with the diversity and relative distinctions between particulars. It is 
like counting one to four to arrive at the answer we intuited originally. 
Thus although the means are diverse and correspond to different levels of 
consciousness, this does not affect their ultimate goal. 72 By practising any 
one of these means we can achieve both liberation and all the yogic powers 
(siddhi) which issue from the perfection of practice. 73 Every means is, from 
this point of view, the supreme means. Abhinava explains: 

Although the causes may be various, the result, that is, the 
destruction, disappearance and removal of impurity (mala) and the 
power which determines it, is nevertheless one, just as a jar can be 
destroyed [in various ways]. 74 

Although the principal categories of practice are three (not counting 
anupdya), these are again divisible into innumerable secondary varieties to 
suit the level of consciousness and capacity of each aspirant. If the yogi 
fails to achieve absorption by practising one means, he must appeal to 
others. Thus, for example, while practising the Empowered Means 
(sdktopdya) he may sometimes need to resort to practices belonging to the 
Individual Means (driavopdya). Thus, the three means become six if we 

Path to Liberation 175 

add those mediated by others. This number is again multiplied by two 
according to whether they reach completion or not and again by two 
according to whether practice is blocked by extrinsic factors or progresses 
smoothly. The number of means thus becomes twenty-four. As the 
possible impediments to progress are countless, the means to overcome 
them are equally so; in actual fact there is no end to the number of means 
that may need to be applied by different people in various circumstances. 75 
The means we adopt is not, however, a matter of personal choice. Reality 
reveals itself to the degree in which ignorance is removed and this, in a 
sense, takes place independently of our efforts. Siva manifests His true 
nature as He chooses, whether in all its fullness at once, or successively, 
part by part. 76 The yogi, in order to make progress, must be empowered by 
the grace of Siva's enlightened consciousness. When permeated by the 
power of Siva's grace (Saktipata), the powers of will, knowledge and action 
operating through the means to realisation are directed to a complete and 
unwavering insight into the true nature of reality. Then the yogi discovers 
that the pure knowledge (pramitibhava) of universal consciousness 
inwardly manifests as every act of will and each perception, and outwardly 
as action. This realisation is consciousness free of all means (anupaya- 
satpvitti). Although there is nothing more for the yogi to do at this level, 
the flow of awareness in this state is a sort of means— a 'No-means 
means'—a 'Pathless Path', to which we now turn our attention. 
For a tabular arrangement of this material, see table 1 . 

No-Means (Anupaya) 

It is possible to penetrate into supreme consciousness directly without 
the mediation of any means. 77 In fact, all means ultimately lead to the 
practice of 'No-means' for it is the direct experience reality has of itself as 
the uninterrupted awareness (aviratanuttarajnapti) 1 * the yogi acquires 
when he penetrates into his true nature. 'No practice' is the only practice 
which conforms fully to reality. 79 Consciousness is ever revealed; it cannot 
be sullied by anything outside it. Nothing can be added or subtracted from 
its fullness. Those who are ignorant of this fact fall to the lower levels of 
consciousness and so have to practice. 80 When the uninterrupted 
consciousness and bliss, the subtle inner nature of all things, are 
submerged below the horizon of awareness by the power of ignorance we 
lose sight of our own authentic identity and experience it as if it were 
distant from us, like a goal to be attained. But as Abhinava explains: 






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Those who are purified by this supremely real consciousness firmly 
affirmed within them become well established on the path of the absolute 
(anuttara) and are not bound by practice. 81 

In fact, there is nothing we can do to free ourselves. 82 All forms of 
practice, whether internal or external, depend on consciousness and so 
cannot serve as a means to realise it. 83 He who seeks to discover this reality 
by practice is like a man who tries to see the sun by the light of a firefly. 84 
Those who are in the realms of 'No-means' (anupaya) recognise that the 
light of consciousness shines as all things. All the opposites merge and 
their seeming contradiction is resolved. Liberation and bondage become 
synonymous just as the words 'jar* and 'pot' indicate the same object. 85 
No-means (anupaya) is the experience of the absolute (anuttara) beyond 
both transcendence and immanence (Siva and Sakti). Undefinable and 
mysterious, it is neither existent (sat) nor non-existent (asat), neither 
is it both nor neither. 86 

Not grounded in anything, this [Light] is not energy, the Great 
Goddess; nor is it God , the power-holder, because it is not the foundation 
of anything. It is not an object of meditation because there is none who 
meditates, nor is it he who meditates because there is nothing to meditate 
on. It is not an object of worship because there is none to worship it, nor 
is it the worshipper because there is nothing to worship. This all- 
pervasive [reality] is not Mantra, not that which is expressed by Mantra, 
nor he who utters it. This [reality], the Great God (mahesvara), is not 
initiation, the initiator or the initiated. 87 

To all intents and purposes Anupaya is liberation itself. It is the 
eternal fullness of consciousness, which is already liberated before we even 
begin to practice (adimukta). Those who reach this level of practice do not 
need to exert themselves at all to grasp reality everywhere constantly 
present. 88 Anupaya is the way of bliss (anandopaya)\ it is the untroubled 
rest within one's own nature (svatmavisranti) experienced when the 
recognition dawns that it is this which appears as all things. At that instant 
the powers of will, knowledge and action merge into the bliss of 

In this way, even supreme knowledge, divested of all means, rests in 
the power of bliss said to be [the presence] of the absolute here [in every 
moment of experience]. 89 

178 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Thus there are two levels of Anupaya. At the higher level nothing can 
be said about it. It is literally the reality which cannot be described in any 
way (anakhya) or approached by any means. To this level belong those 
rare, highly spiritual souls who are born fully enlightened and come into 
the world to show others the way to attain their liberated state. For them 
Anupaya literally means that they do not need to practice at all. Most 
yogis, however, have to prepare themselves for this state and when they are 
ready achieve instant access to it through the practice of Anupaya as the 
most subtle means possible (suk$mopaya). The adept whose conscious- 
ness has been purified and made fully receptive to instruction needs to be 
taught this practice just once for it to mature in an instant to the fullness of 
perfect enlightenment. When the disciple is truly fit to receive the 
teachings and be liberated, 90 all the Master needs to do is to tell him that 
he shines by the light of Siva's consciousness and that his true nature is the 
entire universe. 91 Thus: 

When the Master utters [his instructions] with words intent on the 
thoughtless, [the disciple] is liberated there and then, and all that remains 
[of his former state] is the machine [of the body]. 92 

When such a disciple sits before his Master, all he has to do is to gaze 
at him and be aware of his elevated state to feel the fragrance (yasana) of 
the Master's transcendental consciousness extending spontaneously 
within him. Abhinava explains: 

So gracious is he that, by transferring his own nature to those whose 
consciousness is pure, they became one with him at his [mere] sight. 93 

If the disciple does not possess the strength of awareness to allow the 
Master to infuse this consciousness into him directly in this way while his 
eyes are open, he is instructed to close them. The Master then bestows 
upon him a vision of former perfected yogis (siddha) while the disciple is 
in a state of contemplation with his eyes closed (nimllanasamadhi). 
Through the vision of these perfected yogis (siddhadarsana) 94 he 
recognises their level of consciousness and so experiences it within himself. 
The disciple's consciousness thus suddenly expands within him like the 
violent and rapid spread of poison through the body (bhujangagaralavat). 
He thus becomes one with his Master in the unifying bliss of universal 
consciousness and so, whether his eyes are open or closed, continues to 
enjoy the same state constantly. 

Although it is possible to catch glimpses of the highest reality in 

Path to Liberation 179 

advanced states of contemplation before attaining perfect enlightenment, 
these states, however long they last, are transitory (kadacitka) and when 
they end the vision of the absolute ceases with them. The highest 
realisation, however, persists in all states of consciousness. It happens 
once and need never occur again. A passage from a lost Tantra declares: 
"the Self shines forth but once, it is full [of all things] and can nowhere be 
unmanifest." 95 All spiritual discipline culminates in this moment of 
realisation. Accordingly, Abhinava stresses that the goal of all the means 
to realisation, even the Individual Means, is this absolute consciousness. 
Finally, it is worth noting that although Abhinava affirms that the 
teachings concerning Anupaya are found in the Siddhayogesvarimata and 
the Malinxvijaya, both of which, according to Abhinava, are major 
Tantras of the Trika school, it is in the theology of the school of 
Recognition that it is best exemplified. Abhinava himself refers to 
Somananda, the founder of this school, as teaching it and alludes to the 
following passage in the Vision of Siva to support his own exposition: 

When Siva, Who is everywhere present, is known just once through 
the firm insight born of right knowledge (pramana), the scripture and the 
Master's words, no means [to realisation] serves any purpose and even 
contemplation {bhavana) [is of no further use]. 96 

Anupaya is therefore, according to Abhinavagupta, the recognition 
of one's own authentic Siva-nature, which all the higher Tantric traditions 
teach is the ultimate realisation. This is also true of the Doctrine of 
Vibration whose precedents are clearly traceable to these same traditions. 
Thus, although the Stanzas themselves never refer directly to enlighten- 
ment as an experience of recognition, there can be little doubt that Spanda 
practice leads to this same realisation. Accordingly, commentators stress 
that we realise the vibration of consciousness by recognising its activity 
and that liberation depends on the recognition of this as one's own 
nature. 97 Ksemaraja describes what happens in this moment of 
Recognition according to the Doctrine of Vibration thus: 

At the end of countless rebirths, the yogi's [psycho-physical] activity 
[which issues from ignorance] is suddenly interrupted by the recognition 
of his own transcendent nature, full of a novel and supreme bliss. He is 
like one struck with a we. And in this attitude of astonishment (vismaya- 
mudra) achieves the Great Expansion [of consciousness] {mahavikasa). 
Thus he, the best of yogis, whose true nature has been revealed [to him] is 
well established [at the highest level of consciousness], which he grasps 
firmly and his hold upon it never slackens. Thus he is no longer subject to 

180 The Doctrine of Vibration 

profane existence (pravftti), the abhorrent and continuing round of birth 
and death, which inspires fear in all living beings, because its cause, his 
own impurity, no longer exists. 98 

The Divine Means (Sambhavopava) 

In Anupaya the yogi does not need to deal with the world of diversity 
at all; only Paramasiva exists there. Beyond both immanence and 
transcendence, He has nothing to do with the world of practice and 
realisation. Anupaya is the experience of the undefinable (qnakhya) light 
of consciousness, which is the pure bliss beyond even the supreme state 
(paratlta) of Sivatattva. At a slightly lower level, corresponding to the 
Divine Means, a subtle distinction emerges between the goal and the Path. 
The yogi now practises within the domain of the outpouring of the power 
of consciousness. From this level he penetrates directly into the universal 
egoity of pure consciousness by the subtle exertion (udyama) of its 
freedom (svatantrya) and reflective awareness. The yogi who practises the 
Divine Means is not concerned with any partial aspect of reality but 
centers his attention directly on its abounding plenitude. Hence this means 
is based on Siva's own state (sambhavavastha) in which only the power of 
freedom operates as the pure Being (satta) or essence of all the other 
powers. This state is the light of consciousness which, free of all thought- 
forms, is the basis of all practice." The yogi who recognises that pure 
consciousness, free of thought-constructs (nirvikalpa), is his basic state, 
can practice in any way he chooses; even the most common Mantra will 
lead him directly to the highest state. Thus the forms of contemplative 
absorption, empowered (sakta) and individual (anava), that are the fruits 
of the other means to realisation both attain maturity in this same 
undifferentiated awareness. This awareness is the pure ego manifest at the 
initial moment of perception (prathamikalocana), when the power of the 
will to perceive is activated. It is the subtle state of consciousness that 
reveals the presence and nature of its object directly: 

That which shines and is directly grasped in the first moment of 
perception while it is still free of differentiated representations and 
reflects upon itself is [the basis of the Divine Means] said to be the will. 
Just as an object appears directly to one whose eyes are open without the 
intervention of any mental cogitation (anusaipdhana), so, for some, does 
Siva's nature. 100 

Path to Liberation 181 

The movement of awareness at this level of practice attains its goal 
quickly. While consciousness is heightened progressively in the other 
Means, here it expands freely to the higher levels, unconfined by any 
intruding thought-constructs. The Divine Means is a 'thoughtless 
thought', a 'processless process', that occurs at the juncture between Being 
and Becoming. Abhinava explains: 

When the Heart [of consciousness] is pure and [free of thought- 
constructs], it harbours the light which illumines the radiant, primordial 
plane ipragrabhumi) together with all the categories of existence. [The 
yogi] then realises through it his identity with Siva Who is pure 
consciousness. 101 

The yogi must catch the initial moment of awareness (adiparamarsa) 
just when perception begins^ He must not move on from the first pure 
sensation of the object but return to its original source in his own T 
consciousness. Observing in this way the objective field of consciousness 
without labouring to distinguish particulars, the yogi penetrates into his 
own subjectivity which, vacuous and divested of all outer supports 
(niralamba), is not directed anywhere outside itself (ananyamukha- 
preksin). Here he can iay hold of the power inherent in his own 
consciousness through which he discerns the true nature of whatever 
appears before him. Thus the Stanzas on Vibration teach: 

Just as an object, which is not seen clearly at first even when the 
mind attends to it carefully, becomes later fully evident when observed 
with the effort exerted through one's own [inherent] strength (svabala), 
in the same way, when [the yogi] lays hold of that same power, then 
whatever [he perceives manifests to him] quickly according to its true 
nature, whatever be its form, locus, time or state. 102 

Thus, although the practice of this Divine Means starts by catching 
hold of the will in the first moment of awareness, it also concerns the 
second and third moments in which the means of knowledge and the object 
are made manifest. When practice at this level proceeds smoothly and 
without interruption, the three powers of will, knowledge and action fuse 
into the Trident (trisula) of power, which is the subject free of all 
obscuration (niranjana), m at one with the power of action in its most 
powerful and evident form. The Kaula schools call this state the stainless 
(niranjanatattva). Equated in the Spanda tradition with the dawning of 
the vibration of consciousness {spandodaya), it is the enlightenment the 
Spanda yogi seeks. 

182 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Many practices taught in the Stanzas on Vibration belong to the 
Divine Means. Spanda practice is based on the experience of Spanda 
which, as we have seen, is defined as the intent (aunmukhya) of 
consciousness, unrestricted to any specific object and hence free of 
thought-constructs. ,04 Spanda can therefore be experienced directly when 
a powerful intention develops within consciousness, whatever be its 
ultimate goal or cause. We have already noted that intense anger, joy, grief 
or confusion are such occasions. 105 Similarly, the yogi can make contact 
with the omnipotent will, which he as Siva possesses, through intense 
prayer. Directing his entire attention to Siva, the Benefactor of the world, 
entreating Him fervently and without break, his will merges with Siva's 
universal will, which is the source of every impulse and perception. As he 
looks about him, the yogi realises that it is Siva Himself, the universal 
consciousness and the yogi's authentic identity, Who ordains his every 
action, thought and perception. Thus the yogi's cognitive intent on his 
object coincides with the universal will to make that object known to him, 
whether the yogi be awake or dreaming. He is thus no longer like the 
worldly man who cannot dream as he wishes and is forced to experience 
whatever spontaneously happens in these states of consciousness. 106 

Ultimately the yogi manages, by Siva's grace, to maintain a constant 
awareness of his own pure perceptive consciousness (upalabdhrta) 
divested of all obscuring thought-constructs in deep sleep as well as in the 
contemplative state (turiya) beyond it. When he rises to the higher levels 
of contemplation in which the breath is suspended and all sensory and 
mental activity ceases, the yogi who manages to sustain this pure, 
undifferentiated awareness does not succumb to sleep as do less developed 
yogis. Perfection in the practice of the Divine Means thus coincides with 
the goal of Spanda practice, namely, a constant, alert attention to the 
perceiving subjectivity which persists unchanged in every state of 
consciousness both as the perceiver and agent of all that it experiences. 

Another important Spanda practice belonging to this means is 
Centering. The Spanda yogi seeks to find the Centre (madhya) between 
one cognition and the next, for it is there that he discovers the expansion 
(unmesd) of consciousness free of thought-constructs from whence all 
differentiated perceptions (yikalpa) emerge. 107 Abhinava explains that 
this pure awareness is called: 

. . . the expansion (unme$a) of [consciousness] or the creative 
intuition {pratibha) [experienced] in the interval which divides two 
[moments] of differentiated perception (vikalpa). It is here that they arise 
and disappear. The Sastras and Agamas proclaim with reasoned 
argument that it is free of thought-constructs {nirvikalpa) and precedes 

Path to Liberation 183 

all mental representations of any object. None can deny that a gap exists 
between perceptions insofar as two moments of thought are invariably 
divided. This [gap] is the undifferentiated unity of all the countless 
manifestations. 108 

Similarly, in the outer more objective sphere, where change consists 
of the alterations in the configurations of manifest appearances (abhasa\ 
the transition from one to another corresponds to a phase of pure 
luminosity that marks the beginning of one form and the end of another. 109 
The world of manifestation and differentiated perceptions (yikalpa) thus 
extends from one Centre to the next. Although it is never in fact divorced 
from the subject who resides there, the ignorant fail to grasp this fact and 
so, cut off from the Centre, the world of objectivity becomes for them the 
sphere of Maya. 110 Bhagavatotpala quotes the Light of Consciousness 

This ever pure experience (suddhanubhava) is variegated by each 
form [revealed within it]; even so it remains unstained (nirmala) when 
moving to another. Just as a cloth which is naturally white, once dyed, 
cannot change colour without [first] becoming white again, similarly the 
pure power of awareness, (citi) once coloured by form, is pure [again] at 
the Centre where that form is abandoned and from whence it proceeds to 
another. 111 

In his Essence of Vibration (Spandasarpdoha), K§emaraja explains 
that the rise and fall of every individual perception in the field of awareness 
is a specific pulsation of consciousness. From the point of view of the 
object, the expansion (unmesa) of this pulse is represented by the initial 
desire to perceive (didrksa) a particular object, while the contracted 
(nimesa) phase is the withdrawal of attention from the object previously 
perceived. From the point of view of the perceiving subjectivity, the phases 
are reversed, so that the initial desire to perceive marks the contraction 
(nimesa) of subjective consciousness while the falling away of the previous 
perception is its expansion (unmesa). At the higher level, where these two 
phases are experienced within consciousness, they represent the state of 
the categories of Isvara ('this universe is me') and Sadasiva ('I am this 
universe'). Utpaladeva says: 

Expansion (unme$a\ which is in the external manifestation [of 
objectivity], is Kvaratattva while contraction (nime$a), which is in the 
internal manifestation [of subjectivity], is Sadasiva. 112 

184 The Doctrine of Vibration 

At this level all the powers of consciousness fuse and both phases are 
manifest as part of one reality. This unity is in fact apparent to everybody 
at each moment. However, within the domain of Maya, which is the 
sphere of differentiated perceptions (yikalpa), it is clearly manifest only at 
the juncture (madhya) between two cognitions. 113 In this Centre resides 
the void (kha) of consciousness (free of thought-constructs) which, 
divested of diversity, digests into itself all the psycho-physical processes 
that give life to the multiplicity of perceptions. The yogi moves from the 
particular vibrations of consciousness at its periphery to the universal 
throb of the Heart in the Centre. As Abhinava explains: 

The self-reflective awareness in the Heart of pure consciousness, 
present at the beginning and end of each perception, within which the 
entire universe is dissolved away without residue, is called in the 
scriptures, the universal vibration of consciousness (samanyaspanda) 
and is the outpouring (uccalana) [of awareness] within one's own 
nature. 114 

All the categories of existence (tattvas) are united in the Heart of the 
Centre where the life-giving elixir of Siva's consciousness floods one's own 
inner nature. To reside in the Centre is to abide by the law of totality 
(gramadharma) in a state which transcends the workings of the mind 

Consciousness (jnana) with Light as its support, residing in the 
Centre between being and non-being is known as the act of abiding in 
one's own abode as the perceiving subjectivity (dratfrtva) free of all 
obscuration. That which has been purified by pure awareness 
(suddhavijnana) is called the transcendent (viviktavastu), said to be the 
mode of being (v/7//) of the law of totality (gramadharma) through which 
everything is easily attainable. 115 

The power in the Centre (madhyasakti) is the eternal Present. Beyond 
time it is the source of both past and future. To be established there is to 
abide without a break in Rama, the supreme enjoyer, in every action of 
one's life. 

Rama is Siva, the supreme cause Who pervades the fourteen aspects 
which embrace the entire universe of experience, namely, moving, 
standing, dreaming, waking, the opening and closing of the eyes, running, 
jumping, exertion, knowledge [born] of the power of the senses, the 
[three] aspects of the mind, living beings, names and all kinds of 
actions. 116 

Path to Liberation 185 

By developing an awareness of the Centre, the yogi experiences the 
bliss of consciousness. 117 Through this gap he plunges into introverted 
absorption (nimilanasamadhi) and then emerges again to pervade the field 
of awareness between Centres and so experience the Cosmic Bliss 
(jagadananda) of the universal vibration of consciousness. 1 i8 He then 
recognises that this state pervades every aspect of experience. In this way 
the yogi's consciousness is no longer afflicted by the power which obscures 
it, hemming the Centre in on both sides with thought-constructs that 
seemingly deprive it of its fullness. As he realises directly his pure 
conscious nature as the universal ego free of all mental representations, it 
expands out to embrace all things within itself. Thus the realisation the 
Divine Means leads to, and is directly based upon, is that this pure ego is 
in all things just as all things are within it. 

In the Spanda tradition, as recorded in the Stanzas on Vibration, no 
such ego is recognised. ' I9 Man's authentic nature is, however, understood 
in personal terms as every individual's own 'own nature* (svasvabhava) 
which is Siva, the universal vibration of pure subjectivity (upalabdhfta). It 
is not surprising, therefore, that later commentators found these two 
conceptions to be essentially the same and accordingly identified one's own 
inner nature with the pure ego. This came as a natural development in 
Spanda doctrine not only for this reason but also because the universal ego 
is experienced as the inner dynamics of absolute consciousness. To 
conclude our summarial exposition of the Divine Means, which is centred 
on the direct experience of this pure ego (and hence on Spanda in this 
form), we turn now to a brief description of its inner, cyclic activity. We 
shall do this by examining Abhinava's esoteric exegesis of the symbolic 
significance of the word 'A HAM', which in Sanskrit means T, and 
symbolises by its form the ego's dynamic nature. 

The objective world of perceptions is, as we have seen, essentially a 
chain of thought-constructs (prapanca) closely linked to one another and 
woven into the fabric of diversity (vicitrata). This thought (vikalpa) is a 
form of speech (vac) uttered internally by the mind (citta), which is itself 
an outpouring of consciousness. Consciousness also, in its turn, resounds 
with the silent, supreme form of speech {para vac) which is the reflective 
awareness through which it expresses itself to itself. Consequently, the 
fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, which are the smallest phonemic units 
into which speech can be analysed, are symbolic of the principal elements 
of the activity of consciousness. Letters come together to generate words 
and words go on to form sentences. In the same way the fifty phases in the 
cycle of consciousness represent, in the realms of denoted meaning (vacya), 
the sum total of its universal activity (kriya) corresponding to the principal 
forces (kala) which come together to form the metaphysical categories of 

186 The Doctrine of Vibration 

experience, which in their turn appear in the grossest, most explicitly 
'articulate' form as the one hundred and eighteen world-systems 

'A', the first letter of both AHAM and the Sanskrit alphabet, is the 
point of departure or initial emergence of all the other letters and hence 
denotes Anuttara — the absolute. 'Ha', is the final letter of the alphabet 
and represents the point of completion when ail the letters have emerged. 
It represents the state in which all the elements of experience, in the 
domains of both inner consciousness and outer unconsciousness, are fully 
displayed. It is also the generative, emission (visarga) which, like the 
breath, casts the inner into the outer, and draws what is outside inward. 
The two letters 'A' and 'Ha' thus represent Siva, the transcendental source 
and Sakti, His cosmic outpouring that flows back into Him. The 
combined 'A-Ha' contains within itself all the letters of the alphabet — 
every phase of consciousness, both transcendental and universal. (For a 
graphic representation of this analysis, see figure 1.) 

M, the final letter of AHAM, is written as a dot placed above the letter 
which precedes it. It comes at the end of the vowel series and before the 
consonants and so is called 'anus vara '(lit. 'that which follows the vowels') 
and also 'bindu ' (lit. 'dot,' 'drop,' 'point' or 'zero'). While the consonant 
'M' symbolises the individual soul (purusa), 'bindu 1 rep resents the subtle 
vibration of T, which is the life force (jivakala) and essence of the soul's 
subjectivity manifest at the transcendental, supra-mental level 
(unmana). 12 ° It is the zero-point in the centre between the series of negative 
numbers, in this case the vowels which represent the processes happening 
internally within Siva, and the series of positive numbers — the consonants 
which symbolise the processes happening externally within Sakti. 

Bindu, as a point without area, symbolises the non-finite nature of the 
pure awareness (pramitibhava) of AHAM. It is the pivot around which 
the cycle of energies from 'A' to 'Ha' rotates, the Void in the centre from 
which all the powers emanate and into which they collapse. As such, it is 
the supreme power of action which holds subject, object and means of 
knowledge together in a potential state in the one Light that shines as all 
three 121 containing them in its repose 122 (visrdnti). Bindu is the 'knower' 
(jndtr), who is essentially consciousness that, though omniscient, does not 
manifest its intelligence, like a man who knows the scriptures but having 
no occasion to explain them to others silently bears this knowledge within 
himself. As such, it symbolises the union of Siva and Sakti (sivasakti- 
mithunapina'a) 123 in a state of heightened potency in which they have not 
yet divided to generate the world of diversity. It stands, in other words, at 
the threshold of differentiation in the stream of emanation still contained 
within Siva. 

The Absolute. 
Expansion Commences 

Bindu — The Individual Soul 
Withdrawal Commences 

Figure 1 

188 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Then, to the degree in which that which is to be accomplished by the 
power of action residing within it [as a potential] penetrates into the 
absolute, it appears initially as bindu, which is the light of pure 
consciousness. 124 

When outer objectivity is reabsorbed into its transcendent source, 
bindu is the point into which all the manifest powers of consciousness are 
gathered and fused together. The universal potency of all the letters is thus 
contained in bindu which, as the reflective awareness of supreme T 
consciousness, 125 gives them all life. Thus bindu also marks the beginning 
of Siva's internal movement back to the undifferentiated absolute and so 
stands at the threshold of both emission and absorption without being 
involved in either. 

The three aspects of AH AM together constitute a movement from the 
undifferentiated source of transcendental consciousness — 'A' — through 
the expansion or emission of its power — 4 Ha' — to the subject — 'M 1 — 
which contains and makes manifest the entire universe of experience. The 
reverse of this movement, that of withdrawal (samhara), is represented by 
M-Ha-A. AHAM and M-Ha-A alternate in the rotation (ghurnana) of 
the reflective awareness of T consciousness as immanent Sakti emerges 
from transcendental Siva to then merge back into Him. As Abhinava says: 

The universe rests within Sakti and She on the plane of the absolute 
(anutiara) and this again within Sakti ... for the universe shines within 
consciousness and [consciousness shines] there [within the universe by 
the power of] consciousness. These three poles, forming a couple and 
merging, make up the one supreme nature of Bhairava Whose essence 
is AHAM- 126 

At the microcosmic level, fc A' represents the initial moment when the 
subject begins to rise out of himself to view the object. The movement 
from 'A to 'Ha' marks the emergence of sensation within the field of 
awareness, which is represented by the fifty letters of the alphabet symbolic 
of the fifty aspects of the flux of consciousness leading to objectified 
perception. 'Nl' is tne subject who, resting content within himself when he 
has perceived his object, merges through the inner flow of awareness into 
k A\ the absolute. Then from the absolute (A) its emission (Ha) flows back 
into the pure subject (M) set to perceive his object. Thus all the cycles of 
creation and destruction are contained within AHAM through which they 
are experienced simultaneously as the spontaneous play of the absolute. 
The yogi who recognises this recurrent pulse of awareness to be the 
movement of his own consciousness merges his limited ego with the 

Path to Liberation 189 

universal ego. Thus he realises that its power to create, sustain and destroy 
all things is his own inner strength (svabaia) that he exerts effortlessly in 
the same state of mystical absorption (turlya) in universal consciousness 
that the absolute itself enjoys. In this way he shares in the three-fold 
awareness Siva Himself has of His own nature which Abhinava describes 
as follows: 

4 I make the universe manifest within myself in the Sky of 
Consciousness. I, who am the universe, am its creator! ' — this awareness 
is the way in which one becomes Bhairava. 'AH of manifest creation 
(sadadhvari) is reflected within me, I cause it to persist 1 — this awareness 
is the way in which one becomes the universe. The universe dissolves 
within me. I who am the flame of the [one] great and eternal fire of 
consciousness' — seeing thus one achieves peace. 127 

The experience of the liberated thus coincides with the realisation of 
their own divine nature which, through its power, rules and guides the 
cosmic order. Thus this attainment (siddhi), which is liberation itself, is in 
the DoctrLie of Vibration technically called 'Mastery over the Wheel of 
Energies' (cakresvaratvasiddhi) because the liberated soul, identified with 
Siva, now governs, as does Siva, the cycle of the powers that bring about 
the creation and destruction of all things, 128 

The Empowered Means (Saktopaya) 

All the practices taught in the Stanzas on Vibration are internal. 
Whenever ritual is mentioned, it is invariably interpreted in terms of the 
dynamics of the inner processes the yogi experiences and implements in 
the course of his yogic practice. The Doctrine of Vibration, Ksemaraja 
affirms, 129 is concerned entirely with these inner disciplines centred, as it is, 
in one way or another, on consciousness or, at least, on the inner activity of 
the mind. Thus the Empowered Means which, like the other categories we 
have discussed, is entirely internal, includes an important part of Spanda 
practice. Spanda practice belonging to the Divine Means centres on one's 
own inherent nature (svasvabhava) as Siva, the universal perceiver and 
agent, that belonging to the Empowered Means on His power. Instead of 
arriving directly at the all-embracing emptiness of subjective conscious- 
ness, the yogi practising the Empowered Means realises his true nature 
through the fullness of its energy. Practising the Divine Means, the yogi 
plunges, as it were, straight into the fire of consciousness; practising the 

190 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Empowered Means he merges with its rays. Either way the yogi is centred 
equally on ultimate reality. The power of consciousness is no less absolute 
than its possessor. To make this point Abhinava quotes the Matanga- 

This reality consists of the rays of [Siva's] power and is variously said 
to be the abode of the Lord's manifestation . . . That same [power] 
illumined [by Siva] is itself also luminous, unshaken and unmoving. 
That very [power] is the supreme state, subtle, omnipresent, the nectar of 
immortality, free of obscuration, peaceful, yearning for pure Being alone 
{vastumatra) and devoid of beginning and end. Perfectly pure, it is said 
to be the body [of ultimate reality]. 110 

The yogi concentrates on the powers operating in all of life's activities 
as particular pulsations (visesaspanda) in the universal rhythm 
(samanyaspanda) of the power of consciousness. In this way he rises 
progressively from the particular to the universal until he reaches pure 
Being (satta), the greatest of all universals (mahasamanyd) and the highest 
form of Siva's power. Thus the creative power of Maya, manifest through 
countless lesser powers, no longer causes the yogi to stray from Siva's 
consciousness but becomes the means through which it can be realised 13 1 in 
the illuminating brilliance (sphuratta) which is Siva's pure Being. Thus by 
discovering the true nature of Sakti, the yogi realises himself to be Siva, 
its possessor Who consists of all its countless powers. Thus practise 
belonging to this Means leads to the same pure consciousness free of 
thought-constructs realised through the Divine Means. Although the 
ultimate realisation is instantaneous, the yogi rises to it gradually by 
freeing his consciousness of the limitations imposed upon it by thought. 
Abhinava explains: 

The same occurs in the Empowered Means [as does in the Divine]. 
At the discursive level of consciousness {yaikalpikibhumi) [where the 
Empowered Means functions] knowledge and action, although evident, 
are, for the reasons explained previously, contracted. A blazing energy 
[is revealed within] the one who dedicates himself to removing the burden 
of this contraction. [This energy eventually] brings about the inner 
manifestation {antarabhasa) of pure consciousness he seeks. 132 

Consciousness is individualised and its power of knowledge and 
action contracted by the thought-constructs born of ignorance. The 
arising of these mental representations, as the Stanzas on Vibration say, 
deprives the soul of its freedom and immortal life. 133 The practise of the 

Path to Liberation 191 

Empowered Means is meant to free the fettered soul of this constriction on 
his consciousness. It operates within the mental sphere (cetasy™ and is 
designed to purify thought (vikalpasamskara) in order to. reveal the pure 
consciousness which is its ground and ultimate source. Thus, the 
Empowered Means is concerned with the second instant of perception, 
during which the subject forms mental representations of his object. 
Thought functions on the basis of an awareness of relative distinctions 
between specific particulars, distinguishing them from one another and 
thus seemingly fragmenting the essential unity of reality. 135 The vibrant 
vitality of consciousness, universally manifest, is clouded like a mirror by 
a child's breath 136 and the soul is deprived of the liberating intuition of the 
one reality free of thought-constructs (nirvikalpa). Abhinava writes: 

The [fettered soul] is like a dancing girl who although wishing to 
leave the dancehall is collared by the doorkeeper of thought and thrown 
back onto the stage of Maya. 137 

All thought is centred on objectivity and hence dislodges awareness 
from the plenitude of pure subjective consciousness. Thus, to regain the 
original state of rest (visranti) consciousness enjoys, the yogi must rid 
himself of thought. As thought-forms decrease, pure, thought-free 
awareness is strengthened 138 until the yogi is fully established in a state in 
which the relative distinctions (bheda) conceived between entities dissolve 
away. Everything appears to him as pure Being (sattdmdtra) l}9 and the 
entire universe shines before him pervaded by Siva's radiance. 140 His 
intuitive faculty (mati) thus purified, the yogi gains both the perfections 
(siddhi) of yogic practice and liberation (mukti). His consciousness is now 
like a well-polished mirror which reflects everything he desires and grants 
it to him. 141 Abhinava writes: 

Just as a man who has been ill for a long time forgets his past pain 
completely when he regains his health, absorbed as he is in the ease of his 
present condition, so too those who are grounded in pure awareness free 
of thought-constructs are no longer conscious of their previous [fettered] 
state. Consciousness, the sole truly existent reality, free of thought- 
constructs is made fully and evidently manifest by eliminating these 
differentiated perceptions. The wise man should therefore exert himself 
to attend closely to this [state of awareness]. I42 

The thought-constructs generated within consciousness do not in 
reality affect it at all. They can neither break up nor add anything to the 
Light which shines as all things. 143 They are in fact nothing but 

192 The Doctrine of Vibration 

consciousness itself 144 which perceives, through its power of reflective 
awareness (yimarsa), the multitude of objects in diverse ways, and so 
assumes this form. 145 Although thought-constructs are mental 
representations of objects once seen or present, they are products of the 
power of consciousness and not of the objects they represent. 146 Thought 
is both analytic and synthetic; 147 it serves the useful purpose of separating 
individual elements of experience from others and linking together those 
that appear to be distinct from one another so that they can be better 
understood. 148 It does not consist merely of false mental constructs 
projected onto reality that need to be wholly rejected. Thought obscures 
consciousness and distracts it only when it appears in the form of doubt, 
vacillating between alternatives. 149 Once this conflicting duality 
(dvaitddhivasa) 150 is eliminated, thought is purified and rests in itself as the 
'thought-less thought' of pure consciousness. 151 By gradually eliminating 
the multitude of conflicting notions that agitate him, the yogi ultimately 
achieves the certainty (niscaya) corresponding to a direct awareness of his 
own divine nature. 152 Abhinava explains: 

Thought is in reality none other than pure consciousness. Even so, 
it serves as a means to liberation for the individual soul (anu) only when 
it takes the form of certainty (niscaya). 153 

The yogi must eliminate every doubt and misguided notion that leads 
him to believe himself to be other than Siva. By developing the thought: 
4 1 am Siva', it ultimately affirms itself directly as a pure awareness beyond 
thought without any intervening mental representations. Abhinava says: 

Just as the man who thinks intensely that he is a sinner becomes 
such, just so one who thinks himself to be Siva, and none other than He, 
becomes Siva. This certainty (ddrtfhya), which penetrates and affirms 
itself in our thoughts, coincides with an awareness free of thought- 
constructs engendered by a series of differentiated mental representa- 
tions, the object of which is our identity with Siva. 154 

As thought is gradually purified, it becomes progressively clearer 
until its object becomes maximally apparent (sphufatama). 155 The stream 
of perceptive consciousness (pramana) progressively reveals each aspect 
of its object which, thus affirming itself with increasing clarity, reveals its 
ultimate nature. The yogi reflects repeatedly upon it as the object of his 
realisation and loving devotion, for all that is perceptible and need be 
known (j fie yd) is Siva alone. As Abhinava says: 

Path to Liberation 193 

What should we say of those who before they are satisfied have to 
see their beloved again and again, caress her and think about her for a 
long time? 156 

The yogi practising the Empowered Means is initiated into the Great 
Sacrificial Rite (mahayaga), eternally enacted at the interface between the 
inner and outer aspects of consciousness, by a direct infusion of awareness 
from his master who is the embodiment and outer symbol of the yogi's 
enlightened identity. ,57 The rite begins with ritual bathing (snana) which is 
in this case the immersion of the body of thought in the white ashes of the 
cosmic fuel of duality, burnt in the fire of consciousness. 158 The yogi then 
goes on to worship (puja) by uniting all that is pleasing to the senses in the 
oneness of consciousness. 159 The ritual formula (mantra) he recites is the 
eternal resonance of the awareness which is the pulsation of the Heart of 
his own consciousness. 160 Repetition (Japa) of the formula is every activity, 
perception, breath or thought which arises within him while plunged in the 
universal awareness of his true nature. 161 The mental image he visualises 
meditating (dhyana) on the Deity in the course of the rite, is whatever the 
yogi spontaneously imagines and contemplates as the outpouring of the 
universal creativity of consciousness. 162 Ritual gesture (mudra) is 
whatever bodily posture the yogi may assume when, fully absorbed in 
consciousness, he moves, staggering about (ghumita) as it were, drunk 
with the wine of self-realisation. 163 Oblation is performed by offering with 
devotion and awareness all the sensations which flow in through the 
channels of the senses to the fire of his subjectivity, which is thus inflamed 
(uddipita) and makes all things one with itself. 164 

The outer ritual which commences in the sphere of the Individual 
Means thus leads naturally to the inner rite of the Empowered Means. 
When the yogi's practise (abhyasa) reaches fruition, the rite merges with 
the spontaneous activity of consciousness. This is fullness (purnata), the 
completion and reunification of the forces within consciousness which, 
through the power of ignorance, were formerly dispersed and divided. 

"Just as a horse driven here and there", writes Abhinava, "over 
plains, hills and dales follows the will of its rider, so also consciousness, 
driven by various expedients (bharigi), quiescent or terrific, abandoning 
duality, becomes Bhairava. Just as by looking repeatedly at one's own 
face in a mirror one comes to know that it is the same [as the image 
reflected], so also, [one sees] in the mirror of mental representations of 
meditation {dhyana), ritual (puja) and worship (area) one's own Self as 
Bhairava and so quickly identifies with Him. This identification is the 
realisation that takes place in the absolute (anuttara)." 165 

194 The Doctrine of Vibration 

By ridding himself of the relative distinctions engendered by thought, 
the yogi practising the Empowered Means, illumined by the power of self- 
awareness of Pure Knowledge {suddhavidya), transcends the distinction 
between right and wrong, purity and impurity. He is led to the conviction 
that the pure consciousness, which is his true nature, is unaffected by 
whatever action he may do, whether conventionally accepted as good or 
bad. Abhinava quotes the Malinivijaya as saying: 

All here is enjoined and all prohibited. This alone, O Lord of the 
gods, is here prescribed as obligatory, namely that the mind be firmly 
applied to the true reality. It matters little how this is achieved. He whose 
mind is firmly established in [this] reality, even if he eats poison, is as little 
affected by it as are lotus petals by water. 166 

Impurity is a state of seeming separation from consciousness. 167 The 
yogi who has freed himself of all false notions comes to realise that the true 
nature of consciousness can never be sullied or limited by any object 
appearing within it. 168 This is the realisation the ancient sages achieved 
through a direct intuition of reality free of intruding thought-constructs 
{avikalpabhava), but kept secret in order not to confuse the worldly. 169 
Similarly, in reality nobody is ever bound. It is ignorance to believe 
bondage exists and to contrast it with a conceived state of liberation. 170 If 
the Self is one with Siva, how can it be either bound or released? 171 
Nothing essentially distinguishes those who are bound from those who are 
free. 172 The difference between their states is merely conceptual. 173 Pure 
consciousness abides free of all such distinctions. Thus Bhagavatotpala, 
<n his commentary on the Stanzas, repeatedly stresses that thought- 
constructs obscure consciousness and misguide the individual soul. 174 
Those who are bound are convinced that they are dull witted, conditioned 
by Karma, sullied by their sin and helplessly impelled to action by some 
power beyond their control. He who manages to counter this conviction 
with its opposite achieves freedom. 175 He who considers himself to be free 
is free indeed, while he who thinks himself bound remains so. Thus at the 
highest level of realisation, as Abhinava says: 

Nothing new is achieved nor is that which in reality is unmanifest, 
revealed- [only] the idea is eradicated that the luminous being 
shines not. 176 

Nothing is impure, all is perfect, including Maya and the diversity it 
engenders. To say that illusion exists and that ignorance must be 

Path to Liberation 195 

eradicated implies that it has a separate existence apart from conscious- 
ness. If this is so, it has as little reality as the shadow of a shadow, but if 
not,then it must be consciousness itself. Thus, as Kallata says, bondage, 
the binder and the bound are in fact one. 177 It is Siva Himself Who freely 
obscures His own nature. Siva binds Himself by Himself. 178 Concealing 
and revealing Himself, Siva plays His timeless game. 

At the Divine (sambhava) level of pure Siva-consciousness, the 
Spanda yogi directly lays hold of the power inherent in his own conscious 
nature (svabala) which gives life to the psycho-physical organism and 
impels the senses and mind to action. 179 In this way every thought- 
construct, and with it the ego, is instantly annulled in the immediacy of the 
pure subjectivity that remains unaltered throughout every perception and 
state of consciousness. The same takes place at the Empowered level b> 
attending to the recurrent activity — Spanda — of the subject, that is, the 
flux of awareness through the cyclic movement of the powers of 
consciousness. 180 By attending (avadhana) to this movement the thought- 
constructs that emerge and subside in the course of perception are seen to 
be part of this universal process, and, in this way purified, are no longer 
binding. Thus, Ksemaraja says that the Spanda teachings are concerned 
most directly with the Empowered Means. m The yogi who is always alert 
to discern the pulse of Spanda quickly realises his own authentic state of 
being (nijarfi bhavam). 1 * 2 He is then truly awake, not only literally, but 
also in the deeper sense that he is awake to his authentic nature, its power 
and activity. When attention (avadhana) slackens, this movement takes 
place unconsciously and so the thought-constructs and perceptions 
generated through it appear to take on an autonomous existence of their 
own, just as happens when we dream. 183 The spontaneity of the movement 
that travels between subject and object and holds them together in the pure 
awareness of the universal subject's identity with his cosmic object 
devolves into the creative activity of waking and dreaming. Man, in other 
words, becomes a victim of his states of consciousness and the contents 
that they, by their very nature, generate within themselves. 184 

The Spanda teachings are not only concerned with the structure of 
thought and its functions, but also with the powers and properties of its 
vehicle, namely, speech. Speech issues out of consciousness, develops into 
thought to then become articulated sound. A focal point of Spanda 
doctrine is thus the role speech plays in the formation of thought- 
constructs and their purification. Although this takes place at all levels of 
practise below the Divine (sambhava), the Spanda teachings, meant as 
they are for advanced yogis, ignore the outer forms of spiritual discipline 
to concentrate on practise in the Empowered (sakta) psychic sphere (cetas) 
and what lies beyond it where speech is the pure inner awareness (yimarsa) 

196 The Doctrine of Vibration 

of the light of consciousness. The Doctrine of Vibration identifies this, the 
highest level of speech (para vac), with the universal pulse of consciousness 
that resounds spontaneously within it as the inner flow of its own 
undifferentiated awareness. 185 Beyond the realms of language, it is the 
transcendental consciousness in which all language is rooted and pervades 
all that language denotes as its essential being. Utpaladeva writes: 

The Supreme Voice is consciousness. It is self-awareness 
spontaneously arisen, the highest freedom and sovereignty of the 
Supreme Lord. That pulsing radiance (sphuratta) is pure Being, 
unqualified by time and space. As the essence [of all things] it is said to 
be the Heart of the Supreme Lord. 186 

When the intention arises within consciousness to discern its own 
brilliance manifest in the world of denotations and denoted meanings, 
speech turns from the supreme transcendental level to that of immanence 
and assumes the form of a pure intuitive awareness (pratibha) which 
perceives and comprehends its universal manifestation. This is the voice 
of intuition (pasyanti), which grasps the meaning inherent inwardly in all 
words and externally in all that they denote. Analogous to the non- 
discursive, instinctual knowledge animals possess, it is a pure generic 
perception not yet formed into language in which the act of denotation, its 
object and that which denotes it are indistinguishable. Illumined by the 
voice of intuition birds migrate in their due seasons, the cock crows at 
dawn and young mammals suck at the breast. 187 Infants similarly reflect 
and respond instinctively to their environment by virtue of this intuitive 
sense 188 and through it come to grasp the link between words and the 
objects they denote. As they learn to speak, they begin to form concepts 
and so the next two levels of speech develop. One is the outer corporeal 
speech (yaikhari) and the other the subtler, inner discourse (antah- 
saryijalpa) of thought that forms at the intermediate level (madhyama) 
where the ratiocinating mind stands between the higher levels of intuition 
and its outer verbal expression. In this way the development of speech in 
infancy reflects its progressive actualisation in every spoken word. A 
hymn to the Goddess quoted by Bhagavatotpala describes this 
process well: 

Therefore, O Supreme Goddess, the highest form of speech should 
be worshipped as the [universal] cause that establishes the existence of 
all things by insight {niscaya) into their nature (artha) brought about by 
their manifestation through the superimposition [of verbal designations]. 

O Mother, insight into the true nature [of things] is nothing but the 

Path to Liberation 197 

act of intent of that [same speech], apart from which [speech itself and all 
that it expresses] could not attain to its own nature. Again, in that state 
[speech] is said to be the light of one's own nature. Free of division and 
succession it is attainable [only] by the yogi. 

Then from the state of intent, O Siva, speech [assumes] the nature of 
thought as the radiant pulse (sphuraria) of desire to speak of that which is 
in the domain of words. Then consisting of words, it bears a clearly 
expressed meaning, for if [speech] were not such, meaning could not be 
understood. 189 

Personal experience clearly proves that thought is invariably 
associated with speech. 190 Thought is a function of language. Through it 
we communicate to ourselves a mental image of the world about us and 
can construct complex ideas about ourselves. Language is the fabric from 
which our world of ideas is woven. Mental representation which orders 
the influx of sensation and presents us with a meaningful, picture of the 
world, memory, the elaboration of ideas and the shifting tides of emotion 
are all intimately connected with language and through it to the 
consciousness which underlies them. To think of language as nothing 
more than a system of denotation based on a commonly accepted 
convention (sanketd) fails to fully account forks inherent power to convey 
meaning (vacakasakti). In order to learn the convention we must be born 
with an innate ability to grasp meaning, and this ability is not itself learned 
nor found anywhere within the domain of convention. Lacking this ability 
we would be caught in an infinitely expanding system of denotation in 
which each element pointed to some other within it, without ever coming 
to rest anywhere. Unless we can couple the word 'jar' with the object it 
denotes, explaining that the word 'pot' is a synonym of the word 'jar' would 
leave us none the wiser. 191 The connection between word and meaning is 
only explicable if we postulate that it is an inherent property of the power 
of awareness to link one with the other. Language must be grounded in the 
pure cognitive awareness (prama) of consciousness which stands beyond, 
and yet illumines, the sphere of experience we define and understand 
through the medium of language. As Abhinava says: 

Someone may hear another person speak, but if his awareness 
(prama) is obscured, he is unable to rise, unconscious as he is, to the level 
of the experiencing subject [who understands] what has been said. He 
only grasps the outer successive (sound) of what the other person says 
and thus can only repeat it as would a parrot. An understanding of its 
meaning presupposes that he has caught hold of his own power of 
awareness (prama) by attaining the autonomy [of the conscious, 
universal subject]. 192 

198 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Outer, articulate speech consists of a series of ordered phonemic 
elements produced and combined by the vocal organs to form meaningful 
words. In order for this to be possible, these elements must also be 
grounded in consciousness (prama). The articulated phonemes are merely 
outer, gross manifestations of the phonemic energies (yarnagrama) held in 
a potential state within consciousness. This 'mass of sounds* (sabdarasi) is 
the light of consciousness (prakdsd) which makes the universe manifest 
and contains all things within itself. In other words, it is the totality of 
consciousness expressed as the collective awareness symbolised by all the 
letters corresponding to the introverted subjectivity of Siva Himself. The 
power through which this potential actualises itself into speech and the 
world of denotation is technically called * Mdtrkd*. It is the reflective 
awareness (vimarsa) and radiance (sphuratta) of the supreme subject — the 
'mass of sounds' (Jabdarasi) — and the undivided wonder Siva experiences 
when He contemplates the universe He gathers up into Himself in the form 
of countless words (vdcaka) and their meanings (vdcya). 193 Mdtfkdsakti 
is manifest in the second movement of consciousness after the primal 
vibration of the pure luminosity of the 'mass of sounds', as the state of pure 
potency which arises when its unsullied subjectivity begins to turn away 
from itself and is associated with faint traces of objectivity (dmrsya- 
cchdyd). 194 Mdtrkd contains within itself the various aspects of objectivity 
that, although not yet manifest, are ready to issue forth. Thus this power, 
at one with Siva, is called 'Mdtrkd' because she is the mother (mdtrkd) of 
the universe that she contains within herself as does a pregnant woman her 
child. 195 

The circle of the powers of Mdtrkd (mdtrkdcakra) consists of the 
phonemic energies contained in AH AM, the universal ego. 196 When 
grasped in its entirety at its source, these energies elevate the consciousness 
of the enlightened, but when split up and dispersed give rise to the 
obscuring forces (kald) which lead the ignorant away from realisation. 
The fettered soul is ignorant of the pure egoity that is the source of speech 
and so it generates, through its powers, the many thought-constructs that 
deprive him of the awareness of unity and obscure Siva's universal 
activity. 197 The Stanzas on Vibration declare: 

He who is deprived of his power by the forces of obscuration {kala) 
and a victim of the powers arising from the mass of sounds (sabdardsi) is 
called the fettered soul. 198 The powers [of speech] are always ready to 
obscure his true nature as no mental representation can arise that is not 
penetrated by speech. 199 

The rays of phonemic energies emanate from the light of Siva, the 

Path to Liberation 199 

'mass of sounds' (sabdarasi) in eight groups. They constitute the powers 
of the inner mental organ and the five senses, figuratively arranged in a 
circle around the sacred shrine {pi(ha) of Matrka&akti who manifests 
externally as the body. 200 The eight classes and the names of the deities 
presiding over them are as follows: 201 

Gutturals Brahman! Intellect (buddhi) 

Palatals Mahegvari Ego (ahankara) 

Cerebrals Kaumarl Mind (manas) 

Dentals Narayani Hearing 

Labials Varahi Touch 

Semivowels Aindri Sight 

Sibilants Camuntfa Taste 

Vowels Mahalak§ml Smell 

The yogi who grasps the true nature of the power of Matfka and its 
phonemic forces is liberated 202 by recognising that the activity of the senses 
and the discursive representations of the mind are in fact emanations of 
universal consciousness. Conversely, when ignorant, he is affected by its 
power in its multiple negative aspects known as 'Mahdghora' ('greatly 
terrible') and, unable to rest within himself free of the sense of diversity, he 
is constantly disturbed by the flux of extroverted perceptions. 203 
Abhinava explains: 

When the [phonemic energies] are not known to be [emanations of 
the Lord] they conceal the wonder (camatkara) of consciousness which 
is the one essential non-discursive awareness [present throughout 
perception] and even in discursive thought. They obscure it with 
thought-constructs constituted by the diverse configurations of 
phonemes and syllables which [although also] a form of the deity [are no 
longer benevolent but] most terrible. Inducing doubt and fear, they 
engender the fettered soul's state, bound by the shackles of transmigra- 
tion. . . . But once their true nature is understood correctly in this way, 

they bestow freedom in this very life This knowledge of their intimate 

being [at one with the absolute] consists of this, namely, that even in the 
midst of all these fluctuations, free at their inception of discursive 
representations, thought-constructs do not conjoin [individualised 
consciousness] with the wheel of energies consisting of the totality of 
phonemes, even though [these constructs] are coloured by the many 
diverse words generated by the aggregate of phonemes. 204 

Language has a powerful effect on us. A few words we may hear or 
read can inspire us with joy, fear or sadness, and the constant inner 

200 The Doctrine of Vibration 

dialogue of thought arouses intense feelings within us. This power hidden 
in language, which binds us through the thought-constructs it generates, 
can also be used to free us of them by channeling it through Mantra. 
Mantric practice begins at the Individual (driava) level where Mantras are 
recited in consonance with the rising and falling away of the breath. In this 
way they are charged with the vibration (spandd) of consciousness and, in 
their turn, make consciousness vibrate. Serving as a means to concentra- 
tion, they free the mind of discursive representations. 205 The word 
'Mantra' is thus traditionally said to derive from the words 'manana 1 and 
'traria '. 'Manana 'literally means 'reflection'. In this context it denotes the 
continuous thought or awareness of Mantra which is universal, omniscient 
consciousness (visvavijnana). 'Trariam 'means to 'save' and Mantra 'saves' 
us by freeing the mind from the bondage of transmigration. 206 Mantras 
thus serve to generate a higher level of consciousness by a process of 
'manana' which the texts describe as 'a progressive heightening of the 
reflective awareness which is the aesthetic rapture that threads through 
each state of being'. 207 As MaheSvarananda puts it: 

Reflection (manana) on one's own omnipresent consciousness 
(nijavibhava) and protection from the fear of one's own limitations is the 
undefinable intuition (anubhuti) which has absorbed all dualistic 
thoughts and is the meaning of Mantra. 208 

Although Mantras may convey an intelligible meaning, they are not 
bound to a convention (sanketa) as is common speech. The 'language' of 
Mantras is not concerned with external objects. It is language directed 
inward, deriving its energy from the supreme power of consciousness into 
which it ultimately involutes, transcending the outer and reverting to the 
inner. The Mantra, like the visualised image of a deity, is a symbol which, 
precisely because it has no assigned connotation as has the literal sign we 
use in propositions, is capable of being understood in more significant 
ways, so that its meanings are fraught with vital and sentient experience. 
The Mantra opens a new avenue of thought which becomes truer to itself 
than does any other type of thinking which has found its limits in de- 
vitalised symbols or signs that can be used to signify anything without 
themselves being significant. "Mantras are pure," writes Rajanaka Rama, 
"in the sense that they are not tainted by a conventionally accepted 
meaning (vacya) and transcend the usual form of awareness created by 
reflection on the phonemes [conjoined to form words]." 209 

The essence of Mantra is an experience entirely free of objective 
relations. It is the pure power of awareness directed at its own nature and 
thus free of objectivity and eternal. 210 It frees us of the desire to attend to 

Path to Liberation 201 

things temporal by redirecting attention to the heart of consciousness 
which thus assimilates thought back into itself and stills the agitation 
(kfobha) occasioned by object-centred awareness. 21 ' In this way the yogi 
rises from the partial perceptions individualised by thought, to the 
universal perception free of thought-constructs. By remembering 
(smarana) and rightly enunciating the Mantra, he attains a level of 
reflective awareness in which all things are experienced as one with his own 
nature. 212 Thus Mantra has meaning and serves a purpose (artha) to the 
degree in which it is possible to intuit through it the power of consciousness 
which gives it, and all things, being. The outer forms of the Mantra are 
expressions of the powers experienced inwardly. 213 At root, the Mantra 
represents the pure signification of all possible sentences and words 
relating to the world of particulars. It enshrines a form of undivided, 
non-discursive intuition necessarily represented in parts (as the phonemic 
body of the Mantra) but whose full significance is transcendental and 
includes all possible forms of verbal expression. 214 The yogi who repeats 
his Mantra undistractedly achieves the power to understand the ultimate 
significance of the formula he is repeating. Thus understood, it awakens 
in him a state of contemplative absorption at the Empowered (sakta) level 
in which he experiences the pulsing power of consciousness that emits 
from itself, in progressively grosser stages, thoughts and articulated words 
along with their meaning. Abhinava writes: 

A waterwheel moves a series of machines connected to it and can 
set them into operation by the force of its unified impulse. In the same 
way, by the power of the one continuous act of awareness (anusarfidhana) 
which corresponds to the incessant arising of Mantra, the deities of all 
Mantras, at one with them, become automatically (ayatnat) 
propitious. 215 

The recitation of Mantra starts at the Individual level in consonance 
with the movement of the vital breath. To be effective, however, the 
Mantra and its component syllables and words must resonate with the 
force of awareness. They must be energised with the pulsation (spanda) of 
consciousness and so penetrate into the absorption of the Empowered level 
of practice. At that level the pure thought of the Mantra gradually takes 
over from the impure and dispersed thought of the world of objects, 
wrongly perceived to be severed from consciousness and so leads the adept 
to the Divine level where the ultimate source of its power resides. 216 This 
vitality is Spanda, the universal pulse (samanyaspanda) of awareness 
residing in the heart of consciousness at the supreme level of speech (para 
vac) as all-embracing T consciousness. 217 T consciousness (A HA AT) is 

202 The Doctrine of Vibration 

the Great Mantra eternally manifest as the wonder inspired by the light of 
consciousness. The Mantra AH AM which gives life to every living being 
contains all the powers of the letters within itself; giving rise to the entire 
universe, it is present at the very beginning of manifestation where it is 
established in pure consciousness free of time and space. 218 Ksemaraja 

All-embracing *I-ness' (purriahanta) is the mistress of all the letters 
from [the first] 'A' to [the last] *Ksa' which, as the absolute (anuttara) 
power of unstruck sound (anahata), it contains and encapsulates. Thus 
it is a pure immutable awareness even though it has absorbed into itself 
every cycle of creation and destruction in the play of the Wheel of 
Energies constituting the unfolding cosmic order ($a<jladhvan) of 
countless words and all they denote. It is the supreme level of speech, the 
great unspoken Mantra which, eternally manifest, is the life of all beings. 
Here [in the Spanda school] it is called the vibration of the Lord because 
it unfolds pulsating within one's own being as does the movement of this 
divine universe. 219 

Mantric energy is not to be sought in the actual sound or form of the 
Mantra directly. The ordering of its phonemic constituents (varria- 
sannivesa) is merely a channel through which the yogi can tap the energy of 
his own consciousness. The Mantra should be recited with the full force of 
awareness. It can only be effective when associated with the adept's 
consciousness. 220 The Mantra and the reciter of Mantra must be rooted in 
the one conscious reality, otherwise the Mantra can bear no fruit. 221 As 
Rajanaka Rama puts it, Mantras are a mere flux of phonemic sounds, 
powerless to bend even a blade of grass unless the adept makes contact 
with Siva's plane of oneness. 222 The imperishable power of awareness he 
attains thus is the very life of Mantras; without it they are as fruitless as 
autumn clouds. 223 Through this power consciousness emanates and 
withdraws the countless Mantras 224 to gratify the wishes of each adept and 
bestow upon him the well-deserved fruits of his practice. Mantras are thus 
full of the knowledge and action 225 they derive from the Spanda energy of 
universal consciousness through which they are empowered to perform 
their function. 226 The vitality of Spanda is the ground of all Mantras. It is 
the power by which they emerge from the emptiness of consciousness and 
are drawn back into it, along with the adept's mind, when they cease to 
exist as articulate sound. 227 They are Siva Himself, one with the universal 
vibration of consciousness through which they are created and in which 
they lead the yogi to union with Siva. The awakened realise that the power 
hidden in Mantras is the vibration of Siva's pure subjectivity {upalabdhrta- 

Path to Liberation 203 

matra) which is both the transcendental inner nature of all things and the 
immanent awareness that threads through (anusyuta) all the planes of 
consciousness. 228 Rajanaka Rama explains: 

The vitality of Mantra (mahtravirya) is Siva's power, the undivided 
reality of Mantra and mind (cetas) both when they arise and when they 
fall away. It emerges from Siva both as Mantra and as the adept's mind 
(citta) in the form of phonemes and thought-constructs (sankalpa). The 
Mantric power manifest [this way] is capable of producing only limited 
(niyata) results for those yogis who have not come in contact with the 
power of their own nature. However, when the yogi achieves a firm 
insight into his authentic identity, all Mantras can do all things [for him] 
because he knows how they arise and fall away. 229 

So while Mantra at the Divine level of practice (sambhavopaya) is the 
silent consciousness of T, at the Empowered and Individual levels it serves 
as a means to purify thought. 230 It leads the adept in stages along the rungs 
of the ladder of consciousness, ascending which he abandons the lower 
stages of conditioned awareness to reach the highest state of §iva-hood, 
dense with the light of consciousness. 231 Thus the supreme form of 
Mantric energy destroys the obstacles to enlightenment set up by impure 
thought and 5 establishes individual consciousness in the true universal 
thought of pure Being. 232 Filled with this energy Mantras are like rays that 
emanate from the all-consuming fire of consciousness, depriving thought- 
constructs of their essence. 233 

The aesthetic rapture (camatkara) the yogi experiences increases to 
the degree in which the uncreated reality of this pure awareness (prama) 
abounds 234 and the power of his intuition is heightened as the conventions 
of the day to day, spoken language are immersed and absorbed in the 
supernal (amayiya) energy of the phonemes of the Mantra. 235 The mind of 
the adept is freed of the constraints imposed upon its attention 
(abhisarndhyupadhi) and so, free of thought-constructs, merges with the 
silence of consciousness together with the Mantra. 236 The Stanzas on 
Vibration declare: 

Seizing that strength (bald), Mantras, endowed with the power of 
omniscience, perform their functions, as do the senses of the embodied. 
It is there alone that they, quiescent and stainless, dissolve along with the 
adept's mind and so partake of Siva's nature. 237 

At this stage any thought the yogi may conceive is vibrant and full of 
energy because, having thus absorbed all objectivity into itself, his mind is 

204 The Doctrine of Vibration 

one with Mantra. 238 So although in the beginning individual Mantras may 
effectively correspond to distinct levels of consciousness and stages in the 
cosmic process, once the yogi has ascended through the planes of power 
by merging with the vibration of the Mantras at each level, he emerges into 
a state where he enjoys a direct awareness of his own nature. Siva's power, 
which determines the nature and function of all things, (niyatUakti) is 
transcended and the yogi's own mind, discovered to be the source and 
essence of all Mantras, can now implement any one of them to achieve 
anything he wishes, including liberation. 239 

The Individual Means (Anavopaya) 

As K§emaraja points out, none of the practices taught in the Stanzas 
on Vibration belong to the Individual Means 240 and so it does not, strictly 
speaking, concern Spanda doctrine, if that is, we consider the Stanzas to 
be the basic text of the Spanda school. 241 From K§emaraja's point of view, 
however, the third section of the Aphorisms of Siva (Sivasutra), which is 
both the last and most extensive, is largely an exposition of this category 
of practice. 242 The Stanzas and Aphorisms have been traditionally linked 
together and so, even though we feel that they should be distinguished 
insofar as the Stanzas rather than the Aphorisms teach the Doctrine of 
Vibration as such, we are nonetheless justified in referring to the 
Aphorisms as its major source. Our exposition of the Individual Means 
will therefore be largely based on K§emaraja's interpretation of the third 
section of Aphorisms and we will present it, as he does, as an exposition of 
a possible mystical journey of individualised (anava) consciousness to 
realisation. We follow K§emaraja because he understood the practise 
taught in the Aphorisms in these terms, thereby not only illustrating for us 
how it fits into this scheme but also how he understood the basic categories 
of practice and their relationship to one another. 

According to K§emaraja, the first Aphorism of each section of the 
Sivasutra characterises the condition and nature of the Self at the 
corresponding three levels of practice. In other words, they indicate the 
yogi's basic state at each level in terms of his self-identification. This 
identification corresponds to his existential condition as a degree of self- 
realisation in the process leading to the authentic self-awareness of the 
liberated. The very first Aphorism starts directly with this, the highest 
state, by declaring that the Self is pure, dynamic and universal 
consciousness (caitanya). 243 This is true for the yogi who has awakened to 
his authentic nature at the Divine (sambhava) level of being. At the 

Path to Liberation 205 

Individual (anava) level, however, the situation has changed. In this 
sphere of consciousness the intermediate processes of discernment, 
analysis and classification of perceptions, which bridge the gap in the flow 
of awareness from the universal subject to a specific object of knowledge, 
appear to take over the status of the perceiving subjectivity which 
underlies them. The universal Self recedes into the background as a pure, 
undefinable awareness, and the individual ego, consisting of the 
perceptions, thoughts and emotions generated by the contact between the 
universal perceiver and the perceived, emerges in the juncture between 
them. Thus at this level, as the Aphorisms say, the Self is the mind. 244 This 
is the Self which moves (atati) from one state of being to another, from one 
body to the next carrying with it subtle traces left behind by its sensory and 
mental activity. Together these are said to constitute, and be caused by, 
the subtle body technically called the 'City of Eight' (puryasfaka) with 
which consciousness is identified and due to which it is subject to the 
constant alterations of pleasure, pain and inertia. The Stanzas teach: 

[The soul] is bound by the City of Eight (puryaffaka) that resides in 
the mind, intellect and ego and consists of the arising of the [five] subtle 
elements [of sensory perception]. He helplessly suffers worldly pleasure 
and pain (bhoga) which consists of the arising of mental representations 
born of that [City of Eight] and so its existence subjects him to 
transmigration. 245 

Whereas consciousness itself is the subject who practises the Divine 
Means (Sambhavopayd), the subject who practises the Individual Means 
is the mind. Unlike the Empowered Means, however, the mind is not 
directed inwards onto itself. At the Empowered level, enlivened by the 
direct intuition (pratibha) consciousness has of its own nature, mind ceases 
to function merely in the paradigmatic, formative manner which gives rise 
to mental representations, but operates instead as the subtle introverted 
activity of reflective awareness (vimarsa), the power of consciousness 
(sakti). 246 This activity, as we have seen, is the essence of Mantra 247 which, 
independent of the senses, is no longer restricted in any way. At the 
Individual lew , however, the creative powers of consciousness reflected 
through the eAtroverted mind are greatly attenuated. All that remains is 
the power to form thought-constructs and make determined resolutions 
(sankalpa) which go on to issue through the body into outer action to make 
the private creations of the mind apparent to others. 248 

The Individual Means, therefore, deals with the objectively perceived 
contents of consciousness and hence with the individual subject as a 
composite aggregate of objective elements, ranging from the subtle life 

206 The Doctrine of Vibration 

force (prdrta) to the physical body 249 and its outer environment. The 
practices belonging to this Means are thus of two types. One is concerned 
with the individual subject who resides in, and as, the psycho-physical 
organism; the other with external reality. 250 What this implies essentially 
is that practice at this level is not concerned as much with the will or 
cognitive consciousness as are the other two Means, but with the power of 
action applied, in the context of the practice taught in the Aphorisms, to 
the spiritual activity of Yoga. According to Ksemaraja, the Individual 
Means culminates in the Empowered state and hence leads to the levels of 
practice beyond it. 251 This is possible because, despite their differences, 
there is an essential similarity between them. The aim of both the 
Individual and Empowered Means is to purify the discursive representa- 
tions of differentiated perceptions (vikalpasamskara) 252 and so lead the 
yogi to the expanded (yikasita) consciousness of the Divine (sambhava) 
state. The other levels of practice therefore both sustain and complement 
it. The activity of individual consciousness can be fully perfected only 
when it operates through the flow of the conative and cognitive powers 
which together constitute the pure activity of universal consciousness 
beyond all means (anupaya). 

In fact, according to Ksemaraja, all three soteriological types function 
together in various ways, their corresponding states representing 
dimensions of the same experience. For example, the upsurge of 
consciousness (udyama) which is the supreme, illuminating intuition 
(parapralibha) of the Divine state (sambhavavastha) 253 is concomitant 
with the gathering together of all the powers of consciousness in the 
Empowered state. 254 The Divine Means, in other words, leads to the 
experience of Power (sakti) which in its turn, when fully affirmed, marks 
the attainment of a permanent contemplative consciousness (turiyatita) at 
the Divine level which persists unaltered in every state of consciousness. 
Consequently, Ksemaraja concludes his exposition of the first section of 
the Aphorisms which exemplifies, according to him, the Divine Means, 
by saying: 

Thus we have explained the first expansion which starts with [the 
Aphorism] 'the Self is pure dynamic consciousness' and expounds the 
nature of the realisation (prathana) attained through the Divine Means. 
It is the intuitive insight (samapatti) of Bhairava's nature which is, as we 
have said, the upsurge of consciousness that quells all bondage, namely, 
the ignorance of that freedom which makes it manifest. Transforming all 
things into the nectar of one's own innate bliss, it bestows every yogic 
accomplishment (siddhi) including mystic absorption in the vitality of 
Mantra, the highest of them all. Accordingly, we have, in the course of 
this exposition, explained the nature of Sakti in order to show that the 

Path to Liberation 207 

Divine nature (Sambhavarupa) possesses [every] power. 255 

Another way in which the Means are related to one another is 
illustrated by the recurrence of the same Aphorism in different sections of 
the Sivasutra which indicates, according to Ksemaraja, that the same 
practice belongs to more than one Means. Both times this happens, the 
Aphorism appears first in the section dealing with the Divine Means and 
then recurs in that concerned with the Individual Means. 256 In one case, 
Ksemaraja tells us this is because practice at the Divine level requires no 
effort whereas at the Individual level, the yogi must exert himself to 
achieve the same state that at the Divine level dawns spontaneously. 257 At 
the Empowered level also, as the Sivasutra says, 'effort achieves the 
goal'. 258 Here, however, because as the Empowered Means is, according to 
Ksemaraja, predominantly concerned with the contemplation 
(anusamdhi) of the vitality of Mantra, 259 the effort exerted is that required 
to bring the practice of Mantra to fulfillment. It is, as Ksemaraja says, 'the 
spontaneous effort exerted to grasp the initial expansion of intention to 
apply oneself to the contemplation [of Mantra]. It is this exertion which 
wins the favour of the gods of Mantra and identifies the adept with 
them.' 260 

The second case of the same practice being taught in different sections 
of the Aphorisms concerns the realisation of the Fourth State of 
contemplative consciousness (turiya) in the other three states of waking, 
dreaming and deep sleep. At the Divine level this takes place by 'violently 
digesting' (hafhapaka) the three states in the Fourth. At the Individual 
level the Fourth state is first experienced at the junctures between the other 
three states and then induced gradually to spread out from these Centres 
to pervade the other states like oil extending slowly through a piece of 
cloth. 261 The difference in this case between the level of practice is not only 
that at the Divine level it reaches fulfillment spontaneously, but it is also 
sudden and complete, leading directly to the liberated state of 
consciousness Beyond the Fourth (turiyatita) 262 At the Individual level, 
however, practice is gradual and even when the yogi manages to rise to 
states of contemplation, he must take care not to fall to lower levels of 
consciousness. Indeed, until the yogi attains the sudden and direct 
realisation of perfect enlightenment, whatever be his state of consciousness 
or level of practice, he is bound to rise and fall because his contemplative 
state is necessarily transitory (kadacitka) however long it may last. 

The yogi is more prone to these ups and downs the lower his basic 
state of consciousness. Consequently, the last section of the Sivasutra 
repeatedly instructs the yogi not only how to rise to higher levels of 

208 The Doctrine of Vibration 

consciousness and maintain them, but also in what way he is liable to fall 
from them and how to regain them. 263 Ksemaraja stresses that the rise 
from one level of consciousness to another is marked by the transition 
from a lower Means to a higher. Conversely, a fall from the higher level to 
the lower entails practice of a lower Means. The measure of the yogi's level 
of consciousness, and that which sustains him in it allowing him to 
progress further, is his attentiveness (avadhana) to the higher realities he 
experiences in the more elevated states. Thus the last Aphorism of the 
second section of the Sivasutra warns the yogi that if his pure awareness 
(suddhavidya) of his oneness with all things slackens, he will fall from his 
awakened state to dream the dream of thought-constructs. 264 From 
Ksemaraja's point of view this means that the negligent yogi must now 
resort to the Individual Means described in the next section to return to his 
former, higher Empowered practice in which he experiences this 
oneness. 265 

Ksemaraja expounds practice at the Individual level, as he sees it in 
the Aphorisms, as extending from one Means to the next. For example, 
practice at the Individual level diverts the flow of the vital breath (prana) 
from its more usual course and induces it to enter the Central Channel 
(susumna) along which it rises as a pure conscious energy (technically 
called 'kuritfalini'). This leads the yogi to the Empowered state in which he 
enjoys the pure awareness of unity. If he manages to make it truly his own 
and it becomes his basic state of being, he enters the Divine plane 
(sambhavapadd) of identity with Siva. 266 The Individual Means is both a 
point of departure to higher levels of practice and the level to which the 
yogi returns if he falls. Thus although the practices taught in the last 
section of the Aphorisms may belong to any one of the three Means, they 
are collectively treated as part of the Individual Means because they start 
from it and because it is the yogi's abiding standby if he falls. 267 

Let us turn now to the basic practice at the Individual level, as 
Ksemaraja understands it. This is essentially Yoga. According to the 
Classical Yoga system taught by Patanjali in the Aphorisms of Yoga 
( Yogasutra), Yoga is defined as 'the quelling of the fluctuations of the 
mind' (cittavrttinirodha). 26 * The aim is to sever the spiritual essence of the 
Person (purusa) from the defiling materiality of Nature (prakfti), even 
though the word 'Yoga' means to 'unite' or 'yoke together.' Here, however, 
Yoga combines both union and cessation. It is the act (kriya) of removing 
the latent traces (yasana) of differentiated perceptions (yikalpa) born of 
the impurities (mala) which contract consciousness. 269 This is achieved by 
uniting all the elements of experience (tattva) together in the wholeness of 
the activity of consciousness. As Jayaratha explains: 

Path to Liberation 209 

The [wise] consider Yoga to be the union of one thing with 
another/ 270 thus, in accord with this dictum, Yoga is the [act] of uniting 
[all] the metaphysical principles together within consciousness. . . , 271 

Ksemaraja seeks initially to establish the best form of Yoga for the 
yogi to practice at the Individual level. His sources are two Tantras he 
knew well and considered to be amongst the most important, namely, The 
Tantra of (Siva's Third) Eye (Netratantra) and The Tantra of the 
Liberated Bhairava (Svacchandabhairavatantra). The basic model is that 
of the Eight-limbed Yoga (asfariga) taught by Patanjali which consists of: 

1) The five restraints (yama\ namely, abstention from violence 
(ahirrisa), falsehood (satya), dishonesty (asteya), sexual intercourse 
(brahmacarya) and desire for more than the essential (aparigrahd) 272 

2) The five disciplines (niyama), namely, cleanliness (sauca), 
contentment (santo$a), austerity (tapas\ study (svadhyaya) and 
reverence for God (Uvarapranidhand) 271 

3) Posturing of the body (asana) in a manner conducive to the 
practice of meditation and physical health. 274 

4) Regulation of the breath (pranayama) 275 

5) Withdrawal of the senses from their objects (pratyahara) 276 

6) Focusing of attention (dharana) 211 

7) Meditation (dhyana), that is, steady, uninterrupted 
concentration. 278 

8) Contemplation (samadhi). 

Ksemaraja rejects Patanjali's system because he believes it to be a 
form of Yoga that can, at best, lead only to limited yogic attainments 
(mitasiddhi). 219 In the Netratantra, however, Siva teaches a different, 
higher form of the Eight Limbs of Yoga which lead to perfect penetration 
into the supreme, transcendental principle 280 of which the Netratantra 

Speech cannot express, nor the eye see, the ears hear, or the nose 
smell, the tongue taste, the skin touch or the mind conceive that which 
is eternal. Free of all colour and flavour, endowed with all colours and 
flavours, it is beyond the senses and cannot be objectively perceived. 
O goddess, those yogis who attain it become immortal gods! By great 
practice and supreme dispassion . . . one attains Siva, the supreme 
imperishable, eternal and unchanging reality. 281 

A necessary preliminary of all Tantric Yoga is a process technically 

210 The Doctrine of Vibration 

called the 'purification of the elements' (bhutasuddhi), through which the 
body is homologized with the macrocosm and so made a fit vessel for the 
pure, conscious presence of the Deity within it. Ksemaraja equates this 
with the meditation (dhyana) which, according to the Mdlinivijayatantra, 
characterises the Individual Means. 282 In order to practice this meditation 
the yogi must visualise the dissolving away of all the forces in the body. 283 
There are two ways in which this can be done. The first is called 'the 
contemplation of dissolution' (layabhdvana). Through it the progressive 
differentiation of consciousness from its causal, pre-cosmic form to its 
phenomenal manifestation is reversed. As the Vijnanabhairava teaches: 
"One should meditate on the All in the form of the Paths of the world- 
orders etc. considered in their gross, subtle and supreme forms until, at the 
end, the mind dissolves away." 284 

Mediated by consciousness, the macrocosm rests in the microcosm 
which is emitted along with it successively in the emptiness of the 
individual subject, vital breaths, mind, psychic nerves (ndtfi), senses and 
external body. 285 The yogi reproduces this process by visualising the 
totality of reality including the world-systems, metaphysical principles and 
cosmic forces along with the Mantras, letters and syllables which represent 
them, as arising successively throughout the psycho-physical body so as to 
constitute it. Deployed in this way they form the Cosmic Path along which 
the yogi ascends, absorbing as he does so, the lower elements into the 
higher, thus strengthening and extending his unifying awareness 
(anusamdhdnd) of the configuration of the Path. Thus, moving from the 
gross elements constituting the outer physical body, to pure sensations 
(tanmdtra), then to the senses and mind back to their primordial source, 
the yogi rises from the embodied subjectivity of the waking state to the 
Fourth State (turiya) of contemplation where he is one with the pervasive 
intent which initiates the creative vision of consciousness. Abhinava 

Once [the yogi] has known [this] Path in its completeness, he must 
then dissolve it into the deities who sustain it and these successively into 
the body, breath, mind [and emptiness] as before, and all these into his 
own consciousness. Once this is full and an object of constant worship, it 
destroys, like the fire at the end of time, the ocean of transmigration. 286 

Thus, the second method Ksemaraja teaches to dissolve away the 
diversity of sensory, mental and physical energies into the unity of 
consciousness is a meditation on the Fire of Consciousness (dahacintd) 
which the yogi visualises as burning away all division. At the Divine level 

Path to Liberation 21 1 

(sambhavopaya) the yogi witnesses the sudden and violent withdrawal of 
all objectivity into the pure ego (aharri), like the pouring of fuel into a 
raging fire. 287 He does not need to visualise this process but merely attend 
to it with a passive, receptive attitude. At the Individual level the yogi must 
exert his imagination to induce this process and so rise to the Divine level 
through the Empowered. The Vijnanabhairava teaches: 

Visualise the fortress [of your body] burning with the Fire of Time 
(kalagni) risen from the Abode of Time; then at the end peace 
manifests. 288 

The Fire of Time {kalagni) resides underneath the hell worlds at the 
bottom of the Cosmic Egg (brahman^a). It issues from Ananta — a form 
of Siva who presides over the lower regions. He floats on a boat in the 
causal waters supporting the Egg, his mind all the while fixed on Bhairava. 
The flames of the Fire of Time rise up to the hell-worlds heating them 
intensely 289 and radiate its energy throughout the universe. At the end of 
each period of creation the flames rise higher and destroy the old cosmic 
order to make room for a new one. 290 At the microcosmic level the yogi 
reproduces this process by mentally placing the letters of the alphabet, in 
the prescribed order, on the limbs of his body starting from the left toe to 
the top of the head. As his attention progresses upwards, he visualises the 
Fire of Time moving with it in such a way that his bodily consciousness, 
together with the universe of differentiated perceptions, is gradually burnt 
away leaving in its place the white ashes of the undivided light of 

Ksemaraja considers this meditation (dhyana) to be a limb of a 
programme of yogic practice at the Individual level 291 of which the 
remaining limbs are as follows: 292 

Posture (A sana). The yogi fixes his attention on the centre between the 
inhaled and exhaled breath, absorbing in this way the flux of his awareness 
into the unfolding power of knowledge which rises initially as the upward 
flowing breath (udanaprana) in the Central Channel (su§umna) between 
the other two breaths. The Prank aspect of this flow disappears as it 
moves upward and the yogi experiences the spontaneous rise of the 
omniscience of consciousness within himself. The mind reverts back to its 
original, pervasive conscious nature and understands the infinite fact of 
Siva's omnipresence. This is the firm seat (asana) upon which the yogi sits 
to practice. 

212 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Regulation of the Breath (Pranayama). To regulate the movement of the 
breath, the yogi must first cleanse the right and left channels of the 
ascending and descending breath by blocking the left nostril while exhaling 
and the right while inhaling a few times. This ensures that the movement of 
the breath is firm and evenly distributed. Next, without attempting to 
control it in any way, he attends to the flow of his breathing. As the mind 
becomes steadier and in closer harmony with the rhythm of its movement, 
the duration of each inhalation and exhalation gradually alters until they 
become equal. At this stage they unite and merge in the upward flowing 
current of vitality in the Central Channel (Susumna). This is when true 
Pranayama begins. The yogi's mind pure and tranquil, he returns, as it 
were, to a prenatal state and the external breathing cycle is internalised, so 
that it no longer moves through the lungs but passes directly to the 
universal source of vitality. The yogi, now at the Empowered level of 
practice, experiences this movement as travelling from the Heart centre 
upwards to a point distant twelve fingers above the head where it merges in 
the void of consciousness. Free of its outer gross form, the breath moves 
freely through the Central Channel and soon transcends even this subtle 
movement to become one with the supreme vibration of consciousness. In 
this way, the yogi's breathing becomes one with the spontaneous rise and 
fall of energy from the bosom of the absolute. Abhinava quotes the Tantra 
of the Line of Heroes ( Viravalitantra) as saying: 

When, by constantly merging the mind in Siva, Who is the pure 
conscious nature, the Sun and Moon [of the two breaths] have dissolved 
away and the Sun of Life, which is one's own consciousness, has reached 
the twelve-finger space, this is termed liberation. Breath control [at this 
stage] serves no useful purpose. Breath control which merely inflicts pain 
on the body is not to be practised. He who knows this secret is both 
himself liberated and liberates others. 293 

Focusing of Attention (Dharana). Attention is fixed on the psychic 
centres in the body corresponding to the five gross elements. In this way 
the vital breath is successively directed to these centres from the Heart of 
consciousness to refresh and stimulate their activity. First it moves to the 
Earth centre in the throat which regulates the firmness of the bones and 
flesh of the body; then to the Water centre in the glottis responsible for the 
balance of the bodily fluids. After this it travels to the navel which is the 
Fire centre dealing with digestion and anabolesis and catabolesis in 
general. It then moves to the Wind centre in the toe of the left foot which 
governs the movement of gases to and from the cells via the circulatory 
system. When the yogi has thus achieved control over these forces, the 

Path to Liberation 213 

breath rises from the Heart to the top of the head and he becomes master 
of the Ether element and so attains every yogic power. 294 

Meditation (Dhyana). The highest form of meditation stills the flux of the 
qualities (guna) and induces the mind into a state of contemplative 
absorption. The object of this meditation is the supreme and pervasive 
divinity of the pure subject whose true nature is known to none but himself 
alone (svasatpvedya). The yogi attains him by merging into the constant 
flow of awareness that streams into the Light which illumines his own 

Contemplation (Samadhi). The yogi rises to the level of contemplation 
when the awareness he has of himself and the things around him become 
one and he realises his own identity with Siva, the sole reality. 295 

The aim of this Yoga in all its phases is to achieve the Fourth State of 
consciousness (turiya) beyond the three states of waking, dreaming and 
deep sleep and to then ultimately reach the liberated state Beyond the 
Fourth (turiyatita). These five states correspond to: (a) Siva's activity 
(vyapara), that is, His power of action; (b) Siva's Lordship (adhipatya), 
which is His power of knowledge; (c) the absence of these two, which 
corresponds to Siva's power of will; (d) His exertion (prerakatva), which 
contains all the cycles of creation and destruction and, (e) the rest Siva 
enjoys in His own nature, which is His power of consciousness. 296 The first 
three states, when divorced from the last two, belong to the sphere of 
transmigratory existence. The Fourth and Beyond the Fourth on the other 
hand are higher, supramundane (alaukika) states of consciousness in 
which the yogi enjoys bliss and repose (visranti) in his own nature by 
penetrating (samavesa) into the universal consciousness of the Self, 
through which he ultimately becomes liberated (jivanmukta). Beyond the 
Fourth is the state of awareness ParamaSiva Himself enjoys when duality 
has entirely disappeared and everything is realised to be one with 
consciousness. The Fourth is the state of awareness of the yogi who, 
catching hold of the pure subjectivity (upalabdhrta) flowing through the 
lower three states, is still actively eliminating his sense of duality. While 
the former is the supreme subject as T consciousness (aham), the latter is 
the pure awareness (prama) or 4 I-ness' (ahanta) of the subject which 
encompasses the lower states, giving them life and uniting them 
together. 297 As such, the Fourth State is the reflective awareness of one's 
own nature shining in all three states at one with them. 298 The fact that we 
recall that we slept well is proof that this state of consciousness persists 

214 The Doctrine of Vibration 

even in deep sleep. Indeed, if the flow of Turiya could somehow be brought 
to a halt, all the other states of consciousness would come to an end in the 
absence of the pure subjectivity which makes them, and their contents, 
manifest. 299 The states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep correspond to 
the form of awareness consciousness assumes when it it predominantly 
manifest as the object, means of knowledge and individual subject, 
respectively. Turiya is the pure awareness (prama) that both transcends 
them and merges them all into itself. 300 As such, it appears as the triad of 
deed, means and agent in the pure act (vyapara) of consciousness unsullied 
by any outer reality. 301 Abhinava explains: 

{Turiya) transcends the three aspects of *form\ 'sight' and T 
consisting as it does of the pure act of 'seeing'; therefore any means [by 
which this state could be realised] has merely a [provisional] instrumental 
value. It is, in other words, pure subjectivity of the nature of absolute 
freedom, independent of all external means. This is the state of 
consciousness called Turiya, luminous with its own light. 302 

Turiya is thus not just a psychological state but the supreme creative 
power (para sakti) of consciousness, the Goddess (samviddevi) Who 
generates and withdraws the entire universe of subject, object and means 
of knowledge. In the Heart of Recognition Ksemaraja explains: 

Whenever the extroverted [conscious] nature rests within itself, 
external objectivity is withdrawn [and consciousness] is established in 
the inner abode of peace which threads through the flux of awareness in 
every [externally] emanated [state]. Thus Turiya, the Goddess of 
Consciousness, is the union of creation, persistence and destruction. She 
emanates every individual [cycle] of creation and withdraws it. Eternally 
full [of all things] and [yet] void [of diversity] She is both and yet neither, 
shining radiantly as non-successive [consciousness] alone. 303 

The yogi is fully absorbed in this state of consciousness and takes 
possession of its power when he is able to rise from contemplation 
(samadhi) carrying with him the abiding awareness of Turiya throughout 
his waking, dreaming and deep sleep. When he achieves this constantly, he 
continues to experience these states individually, but they no longer 
obscure the insight (pratibha) he has acquired because he realises that they 
are all aspects of the bliss of Turiya. Thus, while the common man calls 
this state the 'Fourth' (turiya) because he cannot experience it directly and 
knows only that it is beyond the other three, the yogi calls it 'Beyond Form' 
(rupatita) because it transcends the detachment of the state of deep sleep 

Path to Liberation 215 

which, devoid of objective content, is the naked form' of the individual 
subject tending towards the fullness of consciousness. Those who are on 
the path of knowledge (jnaniri) call it the 'Whole* (pracaya) because, in this 
state, they see the entire universe gathered together in one place. 304 
'Supra-mental Awareness' (manonmana) is the name given to the 
experience of Turiya in the waking state. The yogi in this state moves and 
lives in the world of waking experience free of all disturbing thoughts while 
abiding in the transcendental silence beyond the activities of the mind. 
'Infinite' is the name of the experience of Turiya while dreaming because, 
free of the limitations imposed upon the body by time and space, the yogi 
enjoys the unlimited expanse of the Self. When Turiya is experienced in 
deep sleep, the yogi's state is called 'All things' (sarvdrtha) because in it he 
discovers his freedom from limitations in this, the most contracted state of 
human consciousness. The yogi who manages to maintain Turiya- 
consciousness comes to experience the three states of waking, dreaming 
and deep sleep as the constant flow of the bliss of consciousness in which all 
traces of the relative distinction between these states and their contents is 
eradicated. 305 Following the stream of Turiya to its highest level (para 
katfha), he reaches the state Beyond the Fourth (turiydtita), which is the 
universal consciousness (caitanya) of the Self. Here the yogi comes to rest 
within his own nature. Plunged in the vast, waveless ocean of the 
consciousness and bliss (ciddnanda) of the state Beyond the Fourth, the 
yogi becomes Siva, 306 the Free One (svacchanda), and thus wanders freely, 
practising the Yoga of Freedom. 307 

K§emaraja equates the Fourth State with the pure (suddha), innate 
(sahaja) knowledge that one's own conscious nature is all things. It is the 
Supra-mental State (unmana) in which Siva's pervasive presence is 
experienced 308 once the Yoga practised at the Individual level attains 
fruition at the Empowered. 309 What the yogi must do, once consciousness 
is elevated to grasp the Fourth State, is make it constant. He must 
forcefully lay hold of it within himself and not release his grip until it 
becomes permanent. Then he travels 'Beyond the Fourth' to enlighten- 
ment. 310 Before this ultimate attainment the yogi inevitably falls. The 
forces operating within consciousness that limit and obscure it throw him 
down whenever they possibly can. The only way the yogi can defend 
himself against them is to maintain a constant attentive awareness of the 
Fourth State. 311 He falls when he is distracted but when he attends 
carefully to his pure conscious nature, he realises that every aspect of his 
state of being, including the forces that lead him astray, are one with the 
pulsing flux of his own consciousness and so cannot affect him. 

These powers, which are the energies of Matrka we have already 
discussed, are not the only obstacles the yogi must overcome. He must, 

216 The Doctrine of Vibration 

for example, also resist the temptation to rest content with the miraculous 
yogic powers (siddhi) he acquires in the course of his spiritual develop- 
ment. Again to do this he must practice Yoga. Similarly, in order to 
pervade the Fourth State gradually through the other states in the manner 
proper to practice at the Individual level, the method is the same. He must 
practise the higher yoga of the Tantras which, turning his mind inwards 
and freeing it from discursive representations, allows him to penetrate into 
the Supreme Principle. 312 Once the yogi has attained this contemplative 
state, his main problem is to make it permanent. In the introverted state 
the gross external movement of the breath is suspended and with it the 
activity of the intellect, mind, individualised consciousness, powers of the 
senses and the ego. 313 When the yogi rises out of this state, he is liable to 
fall again into the lower order of creation generated by Maya if he does not 
maintain his awareness of the higher reality he has experienced and allows 
his awakened, illumined insight to be obscured by the dream-like vision of 
thought-constructs. 314 Naturally, the yogi must rise out of the introverted 
condition of suspension. It is inherent in the very nature of reality that it 
should move out of itself. 315 Pure, universal consciousness initially 
transforms itself into the vital breath 316 charged with the impression 
iyasana) of the power of awareness attained through introversion. By 
attending to the pulse (spanda) of the breath as it moves out of the 
absolute, the yogi can develop an intuitive sense of the inherent unity of all 
he will perceive in the mental and physical spheres created by the 
outpouring of consciousness. In this way he realises that his own nature is 
everywhere present in all he perceives and that all things thus reside within 
him. Blessed with this insight his consciousness remains free and unlimited 
even at the individual level where the breath, mind, senses and body 
are active. 

If the yogi fails to do this, he finds himself once again beset by the 
strictures of his embodied existence and must, as before, try to pervade all 
his other states of consciousness with the aesthetic delight (rasa) and 
wonder (camatkara) of the Fourth State he experienced in contemplation. 
Again this means that he must strengthen his pure, empowered awareness 
that his universal nature manifests as all things. 317 In this way he discovers 
Siva's presence in every sphere of individualised consciousness ranging 
from the breath to outer objectivity. The yogi's mind then becomes 
tranquil and undistracted because wherever it may wander, the yogi 
perceives only Siva, his authentic nature. 318 Consciousness is thus freed of 
all external referents and the yogi's subjectivity is purified of all 
identification with the body or anything else that belongs to the objective 
sphere. The yogi then becomes detached from the opposites of pleasure 
and pain and is transcendentally free (kevalin). 319 

Path to Liberation 217 

The yogi is again, however, liable to fall if he allows himself to get 
entangled in the play of opposites. This fall is more serious than the others 
because, although he is caught by the confining restrictions of individual- 
ised consciousness as before, he is now also affected by karma. Fleeing 
from pain in the pursuit of pleasure he is bound to act (karma) to minimise 
one and maximise the other and so is thrown down to the lowest level of 
embodied subjectivity (sakala). In order to regain his lost state, he must 
ascend gradually, by Siva's grace, from one order of subjectivity to the 
next and so free himself progressively of the limitations of the lower levels 
to gain the greater freedom and expansion of the higher. As he progresses, 
the objective sphere also evolves from the grossest perceptions of physical 
objects outside the lowest order to subjectivity, through to the subtler 
inner, mental perceptions to finally reach the order of subjectivity that 
contains objectivity within itself and is free to externalise it at will. 320 

The degree to which this process develops depends, as before, on the 
yogi's awareness of the Fourth State. In consonance with the general 
principle that the remedy should suit the defect, the yogi is instructed to 
seek this higher state of consciousness in the wonder (camatkara) or 
delight (ananda) he feels in moments of intense physical pleasure. At first 
he experiences this subtle consciousness for an instant in the subjective 
sphere. If he manages to catch hold of it, it becomes more intense as the 
cognitive and objective spheres are also gradually pervaded and vitalised 
by it. Occasions for this practice are, for example, the sense of satisfaction 
one feels after a good meal or the aesthetic delight one experiences when 
listening to good music or the pleasure of sexual union with the Tantric 
consort or even solitary sexual excitation. In these moments of delight the 
yogi can penetrate momentarily into his own authentic Siva-nature 
(sambhavavesa) through the empowered contact (saktasparsa) m he 
makes with it in the freedom of the pure subjectivity of the Fourth State. 322 
If the yogi develops his awareness of this higher level of consciousness and 
maintains it, he eventually experiences it constantly. 323 

Clearly, what prevents the yogi from attending to his state of 
consciousness rather than the circumstances which induce it is the craving 
for pleasure (abhila§a) born of ignorance — the source of every impurity 
which clouds consciousness. Craving directs the yogi's attention towards 
outer, worldly things and so he is caught in the net of thought- 
constructs. 324 To free himself of his worldly desires and reverse this 
binding extroversion, the yogi must eradicate its cause. To be freed of all 
the ups and downs of the path and no longer be tormented by the 
possibility of a fall, the yogi must see reality perfectly and completely. 
This insight is itself liberation and the moment it dawns the yogi is 
instantly freed. This sudden realisation is the goal of Tantric Yoga. 

218 The Doctrine of Vibration 

Accordingly the Tantra declares: "He who perceives reality directly, even 
for the brief moment it takes to blink, is liberated that very instant and 
never reborn again." 325 

Although the yogi's body and mind continue to function as before, 
they are like mere outer coverings 326 which contain, but do not obscure, 
the mighty, universal consciousness which operates through them. The 
yogi's body is the universe, the senses the energies that vitalise it, his mind 
Mantra, the rhythm of his breath the pulse of time and his inner nature 
pure, dynamic consciousness. Raised above all practice, and hence all 
possibility of falling to lower levels, the yogi realises that he has always 
been free 327 and that his journey through the dark land of Maya was 
nothing but a dream, a construct of his own imagination. 
















Chan. Up. 











Kashmir Series of Texts and Stuc 



Kena Up. 

























National Archives 




























Ricerche e Studi Orientali 










Sankarabha§ya on the Brahmasutra 












































1. A. H. Francke and E. W. Thomas, The Chronicles of Ladhak and Minor 
Chronicles (Antiquities of Indian Tibet) Part 2, Asiatic Society of India, New 
Imperial Series, (Calcutta: 1926), vol. L, pp. 39-40. 

2. G. Tucci, La Via dello Svat, (Bari: 1963), pp. 16, 97. 

3. L. Nadou, Les Buddhistes Kas'miriens au Moyen Age (Paris: Presses 
Universitaires de France, 1968), p. 38. The reader is referred to this book for a 
detailed account of Buddhism in Kashmir. 

4. See Introduction to the Pancaratra and the Ahirbudhnya Samhita by 
F. Otto Schrader, Adyar Library Series, 2nd ed. (Adyar: 1973), p. 20ff. 

5. Yamunacarya is the earliest Srivaisnava author whose works have come 
down to us. He lived in South India about the middle of the tenth century and was 
the teacher of Ramanuja's teacher. He is credited with having written a work, now 
lost, called Authoritativeness of the Kashmiri Agama. This work is said to have 
established the revealed character (apauruseyatvd) of the Ekayana branch of the 
White Yajur Veda which Pancaratrins claim is the original source of their Agamic 
literature. (See M. Narasimhacharya, Contributions of Yamuna to Visisfadvaita 
(Madras: M. Rangacharya Memorial Trust, 1971), p. 12. For Yamuna's date see 
ibid. pp. 10-1 1) The origins of the Pancaratra were, therefore, it seems, linked by 
Yamunacarya with the Kashmiri Agamas and the Ekayana. Recently discovered 
material confirms that the Ekayana was known in Kashmir before the eleventh 
century. Bhagavatotpala (who probably belongs to the eleventh or tenth century) 
frequently quotes a work called Samvitprakasa in his commentary on the Stanzas 
on Vibration (Sp.Pra. pp. 85, 87, 89, 95-6, 99, 100 and 112). (For abbreviations see 
pp. 219-220.) At least two incomplete manuscripts of this work are still extant. 
One is deposited in the research Centre in Srinagar responsible for the K.S.T.S.. A 
copy of this manuscript was kindly given to me by Professor R. Gnoli. Another 
manuscript which is less complete is MS no. C4003 deposited in the Central 
Library of Banaras Hindu University. A verse at the end of the first chapter reads: 

222 Notes 

ekayane prasrtasya kaSmlresu dvijanmanah 

krtir vamanadattasya seyam bhagavadasraya (fol. 6b). 

We can gather from these lines that the author of this work was Vamanadatta who 
was a Kashmiri Brahmin belonging to the Ekayana. It is significant that this 
author should be quoted so extensively by Bhagavatotpala who was himself a 
Kashmiri Vaisnava Brahmin by descent even though he was a Saivite. It shows the 
close affinity between certain forms of Vaisnavism in Kashmir with monistic 
Saivism. Bhagavatotpala 's is the oldest work so far recovered anywhere which 
quotes Vaisnava Agamic sources. There can be no doubt, therefore, that Kashmir 
was an important centre of Tantric Vaisnavism (the Pancaratra) at a relatively 
early date. 

6. Kalhana wrote the introduction to his Chronicles in 1 148-49 A.D. and 
completed his work the following year. See R.T. Intro, p. 6; also ibid., verse 1/52 
and 8/3404. 

7. Stein, the editor of the RajataranginU writes: "It is characteristic that the 
Kashmir tradition knows the great Asoka both as a founder of viharas and stiipas 
and as a fervent worshipper at the ancient Saiva shrines." R.T., Intro, p. 9, fn. 25. 
SeeR.T. l/102ff. and l/1055ff. 

8. For a more detailed treatment of the Saiva canon, the reader is referred to 
the author's The Canon of The Saivagama (Albany: SUNY Press, 1987). 

9. For their names and brief details, see the introduction by Filliozat to the 
Rauravagama, vol. 1 (Pondichery: 1961) pp. v-xv. 

10. For the inscriptional and textual references which support this account 
see Saivism in Early Mediaeval India as Known from Archaeological Sources by 
V. S. Pathak in Bharati: Bulletin of the College of Indology, no. 3 (1959-60). Also 
Rohan A. Dunuwila, Saiva Siddhanta Theology (Delhi: M. Banarsidass, 1985), 
p. 34ff. 

1 1 . See Gli Agama Scivaitinell 'India Set tent rionale by R. Gnoli in Indologica 
Tourinensia, vol. I (Torino: 1973), pp. 61-9. Also, for an account of these Kashmiri 
Siddhantins and their work, see K. C. Pandey, Bhaskari, vol. 3. The Princess of 
Wales Sarasvati Bhavan Texts no. 84 (Lucknow: 1954), Intro, p. lxvi ff. 

1 2. The term "Kashmiri Saivism" can be misleading. The monistic Saivism 
we generally indicate by this term was not the only form of Saivism in Kashmir, nor 
was it entirely confined to Kashmir. Scholars first came to know of the existence of 
a distinct form of Saiva theology prevalent in Kashmir when the fourteenth century 
work by Madhavacarya, the Sarvadarsanasamgraha, came out in the Bibliotheca 
Indica series in 1858 edited by Isvaracandra Vidyasagar. In 1877 G. Biihler 
published a general account of the works of non-dualist Kashmiri Saiva authors 
in his Detailed Report of a Tour in Search of Sanskrit Manuscripts Made in 
Kashmir (extra number of the Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic 
Society, 1877). J. C. Chatterjee, the first director of the research centre in Srinagar 
responsible for the editing and publication of the Kashmir Series of Texts and 
Studies, in his book Kashmir Shaivaism (Srinagar, 1914), was the first to refer to 
the monistic Saivism elaborated by Kashmiri authors from about the middle of the 
ninth century, and preserved in the works later published in the series as 'Kashmir 

Notes 223 

Shaivaism'. He did so simply in order to "distinguish it from the other forms of 
Shaivaism known and still practised in different parts of India." (Ibid., p. 1). This 
term has since been generally adopted by scholars, even though we nowhere come 
across it in the works of these authors who simply considered themselves to be 
Saivites expounding Agamic Saivism (Saiva&asana) from a non-dualist standpoint 
with no emphasis on anything peculiarly Kashmiri about it. 

13. We suppose that this is so because Tantras of this class are hardly quoted 
by Kashmiri Saiva authors. Moreover, the passages from Tantras they quote 
relating to the Saivagamic canon tend to omit these two groups indicating, 
possibly, that this tendency was not only confined to Kashmir. Practically the only 
Tantra that belongs to these groups that is quoted is the Kriyakalottara (N.T.U., 
vol. 2, pp. 148, 151, 157-8 and 196-9). A manuscript of this Tantra is preserved in 
Nepal dated Nepal Samvat 304, i.e., 1148 A.D. (N.A., no. 3/392). See the 
catalogue Brhatsucipatram, Part IV Tantra, vol. 1, compiled by Buddhis^gara 
Sarma, Virapustakalaya, Kathmandu, 1964, pp. 96-8. In the passage quoted from 
the beginning of this Tantra the Goddess asks Karttikeya a number of questions. 
She says that she has not yet heard the Garug'atantra and would like to do so along 
with the Bhutatantra and Mantravada. She wishes thereby to learn the 
characteristic features of snakes and those of other kindred species such as 
scorpions. She also wants to know about the planets and their (evil) influences 
and about the potentially malevolent spirits such as Yaksas, Raksasas, PiSacas 
and Sakinis. Other matters are the evil planetary influences that take possession 
of children and trouble pregnant women. 

14. The Vinasikhatantra: A Saiva Tantra of the Left Current edited with an 
introduction and a translation by Teun Goudriaan (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 

15. A description of Tumburu, found in the (unedited) Jayadrathayamalais 
recorded in The Canon of The Saivagama, part 1 fn. 181. 

16. Goudriaan, Intro, p. 25. 

17. For a more detailed account refer to Goudriaan, Intro, pp. 24-30. 

18. According to the first etymology, Bhairava 's name is derived from the 
roots 'Bhr\ meaning to sustain and nourish, and 'Ru\ to shout. 

19. From the roots 'BhV, 'fear' and 4 Av\ 'protect*. 

20. From 'Bhi-rava \ 'a cry (for help born) of the fear of transmigration in the 
hearts of those who invoke Him'. The form 'Bhairava' thus means 'He who is born 
from this cry*. 

21 . The word 'Bhairava' is here derived from 'Bha \ meaning 'star' and the root 
7r', to push, impel, or move. Together they form the word 'Bhera 'understood to 
mean time. The last syllable — 'Va— is interpreted as a derivative of the root *Vai\ 
to exhaust. Thus the 'Bheravas' are those who exhaust (vayanti) time, while 
Bhairava (derived from Bherava) is their inner nature. 

22. According to his interpretation 'Bhairava' is a compound referring to 
those powers 'whose shouting instils fear', while Bhairava is their Lord. 

23. T.A., l/96-100a. 

24. 'Mahakala' means both the 'Great Black One' and the 'Great Time*. 
Bhairava is well known to Kashmiri Saivism as the eternity of all-destroying and 

224 Notes 

universally creative time. Similarly in the Buddhist Tantric tradition, time is an 
important representation of Emptiness. 'Kal'is, by coincidence, both an Indo- 
European root meaning 'time' and a non- Aryan root meaning 'black' or 'dark 
blue'. For a discussion and references see Myth, Cult and Symbols in Sakta 
Hinduism by Wendell C. Beane (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1977), pp. 81-4. 

25. For accounts of the mythical origins of the gods we must generally 
turn, not to the Tantras, but to the PurSnas and Vedic literature. Although we 
do come across mythological material in the Tantras, myths concern them little 
and only indirectly. They focus on ritual and all that concerns its execution and 
ultimately its symbolic meaning. For the beheading of Brahma, why it took 
place and Bhairava's origin see Asceticism and Eroticism in the Mythology of Siva 
by Wendy Doniger OTlaherty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973), pp. 123-7. 

26. §. Su., 1/5. 

27. The Pasupatasutra and an old commentary have been translated into 
English under the title The Paiupatasutram with Pancarthabhasya ofKauntfinya 
by Haripada Chakraborti (Calcutta: Academic Publishers, 1970). 

28. For an interesting account of Saiva sects such as these and their PaSupata 
affiliations drawn mostly from inscriptions and literary sources see The Kapalikas 
and Kalamukhas: Two Lost Saivite Sects by David N. Lorenzen (Berkeley: 
University of California Press, 1972). 

29. Jayaratha in his commentary on the Tantraloka (vol. Xlb, p. 4) quotes 
fragments from Agamic sources in which the term 'Kula' is defined. These are 
as follows: "Kula is the supreme power." "The nature of the arising and falling 
away (of all things) is consciousness, therefore that is said to be Kula." "Kula is 
pure consciousness present in the innate nature (svabhava of all things) and is 
the universal cause." "O Best of Women, Kula is subtle, all-pervasive and the 
agent of all things." "O Goddess, Kula is the Lord of all things, is all things 
and is established in all things. That brilliant energy (tejas) is supremely 
terrible ..." "Know that Kula, everywhere present, is vitality in the sphere of 
power." "Kula is supreme bliss." "Kula is indeed one's own innate nature" and 
"Kula is said to be the body". Abhinavagupta explains what Kula is in his 
Paratrimsikatattvavivarana, p. 61 ff. This work has been translated into Italian 
by R. Gnoli: // commento di Abhinavagupta alia Paratrimkika Serie Orientale 
Roma vol. 58 (Rome, 1985). See also T. A., 29/ 1 1 lb ff. for an extensive exposition 
of the relationship between Akula and Kula, i.e., Siva/Bhairava and His power. 

30. K. C. Pandey was the first to identify these three periods of Abhinava- 
gupta 's work. See K. C. Pandey Abhinavagupta, an Historical and Philosophical 
Study, 2nd_ed. (Varanasi: Chowkhamba, 1963), p. 191. 

31. T.A, 37/58. Abhinava had great respect for his father whom he con- 
sidered to be the greatest of his teachers (T.A., 1/12, M.V.V. 1/5) and a fully 
realised soul who knew the deepest meaning of the scriptures (T.A., 1/12). 

32. Ibid., 37/56-7. 

33. Ibid., 37/63. 

34. Ibid., 37/64. 

35. Ibid., 37/65. 

36. Ibid., 37/70. 

Notes 225 

37. See the Gurunathaparamarsa by Madhuraja, K.S.T.S. no. 85, edited 
by P. N. Pushp, 1960, verse 18. The same work was edited by V. Raghavan 
from a South Indian MS. Although substantially the same, the order of the 
verses does not quite tally. See Gurunathaparamarsa in Abhinavagupta and 
his Works by R. Raghavan (Varanasi: Chowkhambha Orientalia, 1981), pp. 3-16. 
In this edition the verse referred to above corresponds to verse 20. See Pandey, 
pp. 20 ff. for a detailed account of Madhuraja 's work. 

38. T.A., 1/14. 

39. K. C. Pandey did not wish to consider the Trika a separate system, 
nor did he succumb to the view prevalent in Kashmir nowadays, and supported 
by the writings of J. C. Chatterjee and others, that Trika is Kashmiri Saivism 
in toto. In fact, as Pandey rightly remarks, Trika' stands for "the entire Saiva 
thought as presented by (Abhinava) in his Tantraloka." (Pandey, p. 295). 
Even so, although Abhinava certainly contributed enormously to enstating 
Trika in the Kashmiri Saiva milieu (and in so doing practically created a Trika 
system of his own), it is clearly an equally exaggerated view to simply ignore 
it as a distinct system (as Pandey has done) as it is to identify it wholesale with 
all of Kashmiri Saivism. 

40. T.A., vol. 1, p. 236. 

41. For references and discussion about this Tantra see my Translations 
from the Spanda Tradition of Kashmiri Saivism (Albany, State University of 
New York Press forthcoming). 

42. The Triad is referred to in Sp.Pra., p. 91; it is not, however, certain 
that this work pre-dates Abhinavagupta. See Translations. 

43. For a historical survey of the Krama system represented in the works of 
Kashmiri Saiva authors, see The Krama Tantricism of Kashmir by Navjivan 
Rastogi (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1979). Also the relevant chapters on 
Krama and Kula in K. C. Pandey's Abhinavagupta. 

44. See The Canon of the Saivagama for an account of the relationship 
between Krama, Trika, Kula and the Saivagama. This work pretends to do 
little more than present a broad outline of this, as yet, hardly researched area. 
Hopefully this preliminary study will be followed soon by more extensive work 
in this field. 

45. See Pandey p. 491 ff. 

46. As an example of the close relationship between the Trika and Kula 
one can cite Abhinava 's treatment of the Kaula element in the Paratrimsika. 
This brief tract drawn from the Rudrayamala deals with what Abhinava 
defines as the path of Anuttara — the absolute. This path, he asserts, is that 
of the Kaulika (See Pandey, p. 46) and indeed the text is so thoroughly couched 
in Kaula terminology that some scholars hold the view that it belongs to the 
Kaula tradition (see, for example Dvivedi in L.A.S., vol 2, p. 39). Abhinava, 
however, calls it the 'Trikasutra' because it expounds in brief the basic principles 
(prameya) of the Trika system (T.A., 12/15). Again, the text along with Abhi- 
nava's commentary, is called Anuitaraprakriya (T.A., VI, p. 249) which reminds 
us of the name Abhinava gives to Trika, namely Anuttaratrikakula. 

47. Jayaratha writes: 

226 Notes 

In this way Trika, the sixth, includes all the dualist and other 
scriptures which issue from I$a, Varna and Aghora, the Supreme 
Lord's (faces), because it is the abode in which the three goddesses, 
Para, etc. reside. As the saying goes: 

Must as scent (pervades a) flower, oil the sesame seed, life the body 
and flavour water, just so Kula is (everywhere) present in all scriptures.' 

May [Trika] accordingly, flood [all doctrines] with the nectar of 
Supreme Unity (paramadvaya) that it may serve as the means to 
realize the supreme state. (T.A., I, p. 45). 

We said above (in fn. 39) that it is a wrong to identify Kashmiri Saivism 
with Trika as some scholars have done. If they were the same, Trika would have 
no independent identity either as an Agamic or Kashmiri Saiva school. This 
is not the case. Let us start with Trika 's Agamic identity. Jayaratha quotes a 
passage which follows a long series of references from the Srikan\h\yasarfihita 
suggesting that it is possibly drawn from the same Tantra. This passage states: 

"The three powers [reside], in due order, in the [Tantras] of the Upper 
Face [Isana, i.e., the Siddhanta], the left [i.e., the Vamatantras] and 
the right [i.e., the Bhairavatantras]. Starting from the lower to the 
supreme, Trika encompasses them all." (T.A., I, p. 46) 

Trika 'contains* all the Tantric teachings in the sense that it was originally 
an oral tradition that explained their ultimate purport in Trika terms. Jayaratha 
consequently appeals to the authority of the tradition handed down by the 
Tantric masters to support Trika 's contentions. In this way he tacitly agrees 
that there is no scriptural authority for it. He does, however, stress that Trika is 
an independent school and quotes (the Srikanthiya!) accordingly as saying: 
"Trika doctrine is in this way dispersed amongst [the scriptures] variously. It 
resides in the Master's house because it is handed down by tradition {sampradaya- 
krama)." (Ibid). 

Abhinava himself seems to support the view that Trika is predominantly an 
oi al tradition when he says: "The teachings of the Lord are divided into ten, 
eighteen and sixty-four (Tantras) the essence of which are the Trika teachings 
(Trikasastra) and of these the Malinlvijaya. Therefore, at the command of the 
Master, we will explain all that is contained here [in these scriptures particularly] 
that which sages not belonging to any spiritual lineage {sampradaya) have failed 
to observe." (T.A., 1/18-19). Although Abhinava takes the Malinivijayatantra 
as the prime authority for his Trika, this Tantra nowhere refers to Trika as an 
independent school, much less to itself as a Trikatantra. Even so, it most 
certainly deals with specifically Trika matters, such as the Mantric system centred 
on the Trika goddesses Para, Parapara and Apara. See R. Gnoli, Luce delle 
Sacre Schtture (Tantraloka) di Abhinavagupta (Torino: Classici Utet, 1972), 
pp. 715-30. In the footnotes to his translation of chapter 30 of the T.A. he notes 
all the parallel passages in the M.V. which deal with the mantras of these goddesses 
and their consorts. 

Notes 227 

It seems, therefore, that Trika was not originally fully defined in the Agamas 
as an independent school even when the elements of Trika ritual, etc. had already 
developed. However, there can be no doubt that it did become an independent 
school(s) not only in the oral tradition but also in the Agamas prior to Abhinava. 
We know this from references to Trika in Agamic sources. The Essence of Trika 
(Trikasara), a lost Tantra predating Abhinava, clearly belonged to this school 
(, p. 31; for other references to this Tantra see L.A.S., II, pp. 39-40). But 
whatever Trika *s identity and character may have been before Abhinava 's time, 
there can be no doubt that he considers it to have had an independent identity 
both in the Agamic context and in terms of other Kashmiri Saiva schools. 
Thus he says: "Many are the manuals in use in the many and diverse traditions, 
yet for the rituals of the Anuttaratrika there is not one to be seen." (T.A., 1 / 14). 
To make up for this deficiency he wrote his Light of the Tantras. 

If Trika is not Kashmiri Saivism, then what do we mean when we say that 
Trika is 'the culmination of the entire Saivagamic tradition and encompasses 
it'? We are referring here to an exegetical method which we find exemplified not 
only in Abhinava's Trika but also in other Hindu traditions and even outside 
them. Dunuwila, who refers to this same method in the context of the Saiva- 
siddhanta, describes it as follows: "What we have here is a structured theology 
of Comparative Religion, on the 'gradationist' model, which establishes a 
hierarchy of systems, the lowest being the furthest away from the truth, and the 
highest the most near to it, if not identical with it. This model is common in 
Christian and Islamic theologies." (Dunuwila, p. 47). The higher truth contains 
the lower truth, but this does not mean that they have no separate identity. Trika 
can be, and is, an independent school although it contains, from its own point 
of view, all others. 

48. Abhinava thus refers to the Bhairavakulatantra as saying: "The master 
who knows the supreme principle, although consecrated on the path of the 
Varna (Tantras), needs to be further initiated, first into the Bhairava (Tantras), 
then into those of Kula, Kaula and (finally) Trika." (T.A., comm. 13/302). 
Again he says that: "according to the venerable Bhairavakula, only the master 
who has been thoroughly purified by the five initiations and has crossed over 
the lower currents (of the Agamas) is established in Trika doctrine." (T.A., 
VIII, p. 182). 

49. T.A., 15/319. 

50. See Pandey, pp. 297-8. 

51. SeeT.A., I, p. 236. 

52. That Kalhana was a Saivite is clear from the fact that he begins every 
chapter of his work with a verse of praise dedicated to Ardhanarlsvara, the 
hermaphrodite union of Siva and Parvati. 

53. R.J., 5/66. 

54. T.A., 35/43-4. 

55. R.T., 7/279 and 7/283; see also 7/295 ff. 7/253 and 7/712. 

56. T.A., 37/44. 

57. It appears that Ksemendra tells us in one of his works that he learnt 
poetics from 'Abhinavagupta. Although not all scholars agree about this, 

228 Notes 

there can be no doubt that he heard Abhinavagupta lecture on poetics and 
respected him as his elder. See Pandey, pp. 153-6 and Minor Works of Ksemendra 
edited by E. V. V. Raghavacarya and D. G. Padhye (Hyderabad, 1961) Intro, 
p. 1 ff. 

58. "Satire has been deftly utilised by three well-known writers, Dantfin, 
Somadeva and Ksemendra in Sanskrit with the pious motive of reforming the 
administrative machinery and the degenerating antisocial elements in the 
country." (Ibid., p. 7.) Ksemendra himself states more than once that he wrote 
his satires not merely for their own sake, but also to inspire social reform and 
an upliftment of moral values. (Ibid.) 

59. Narmamala, 3/ 14b- 17. Minor Works of Ksemendra p. 337. 

60. Desopadesa, 8/11-13. Minor Works of Ksemendra p. 299. 

61. This took place during the reign of King Yasaskara (939-48 A.D.) at 
his instigation for he wished to "exercise control over the caste and over the 
condition of life (varnasramadharma) of his subjects" R.T., 6/ 108-12. 

62. The work is called Sripifhadvadasika and has been edited, although 
not yet published, by Mr. G. S. Sanderson who gave me this information. 

63. See Yasastilaka and Indian Culture by K. K. Handiqui (Sholapur, 
1949) p. 205, fn. 7. Another Jaina writer, Yasahpala (author of the Moharaja- 
parajaya written in the twelfth century) creates a Kaula in his play who says 
that one should eat meat daily and drink heavily because the religion he teaches 
allows free scope to one's desires (Ibid., p. 204). This reference proves that this 
form of Saivism was known in South India in the twelfth century. According 
to Somadeva 's account of Trikamata practice, the initiate, after eating meat 
and drinking wine, should worship Siva by offering him wine in the company 
of a female partner seated on his lap. The worshipper is to identify himself with 
Siva and his consort with Parvati (ibid., p. 204). Again, we are told that a 
young prince called Maradatta considered his body to be divine, like one initiated 
into Trika doctrine (ibid. p. 43). 

64. I.P., 3/2/2. 

65. Ibid., 3/2/3. 

66. Ibid., 4/2/2. 

67. S.Dr., 7/109-123. 

68. The legendary sage Durvasas is intimately related to Siva according 
to both the Puranas and Agamas. According to the Brahmantfapurana the 
circumstances that attended his birth are as follows. Once a quarrel arose 
between Brahma and Siva. Siva became very angry and his appearance became 
so frightening that the gods fled in terror. Parvati, his wife, also frightened by 
him, exclaimed "durvasam bhavati me," meaning: "it has become impossible 
for me to live with you!" Siva realised that his anger was the cause of useless 
suffering and deposited it in the belly of Anusuya from whom was born the 
sage Durvasas. Durvasas is therefore considered to be an aspect (amsa) of 
Siva. (See Vettam Mani, Puranic Encyclopaedia [Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 
1954], pp. 256-7 for this and other myths relating to Durvasas). Commonly 

Notes 229 

portrayed as a devout Saivite in the Puranas, Durvasas is also particularly 
associated with the Saivagamas. According to the Harivamsa, Krsna was taught 
the sixty-four monistic Agamas by Durvasas who is the revealer of them in the 
Kali age (Pandey, p. 63). The Siddhanta also venerates Durvasas and would 
like to identify him with Amardaka, although he sometimes figures as his 
predecessor (Dunuwila, pp. 35, 43). 

69. The Saivagama, according to Abhinava, is divided into two major 
currents (pravaha); one originates from LakuliSa, the other from Srikantha. 
The latter consists of the five streams (srotas) which constitute the majority of 
the Saivagama. T.A., 36/ 13b-17. 

70. J. C. Chatterjee quotes it at length, as a part of Jayaratha's commentary 
on the Light of the Tantras in a variant form that can only be partly traced in 
the printed edition. Kashmir Shaivaism, p. 6, fn. 1. 

7 1 . nikhilasaivasastropanisatsarabhutasya satfardhakramavij nanasya 

72. T.A., 36/11-12. 

73. tesu matesu praSastam advayarthavisayakam trikakhyamatam 
traiyambakasampradayakam sarva£re§tham praSasyate. Kashmir Shaivaism, 
p. 6, fn. 1. 

74. Kashmir Shaivaism, p. 17. See fn. 42 above. Pandey writes: 

"We know that the word Trika' is used for the philosophy presented 
in the monistic Saivagamas, revealed to humanity by Durvasas, through 
his mind-born son, Tryambaka, at the behest of Srikantha. " (Pandey, 
p. 599) He refers to Jayaratha (T.A., I, p. 28) who "speaks of the 
system, introduced to humanity through the descendents of Tryambaka 
as 'sa^ardhakramavijnana '." He concludes, "it is, therefore, indisputable 
that the word Trika* is used for the Pratyabhijna system also." (Ibid., 
p. 600) 

75. Pandey, p. 135-6. 

76. Ibid., p. 137. 

77. I.P., 4/2/1. 

78. R. K. Kaw, The Doctrine of Recognition (Hoshiarpur: 1967), p. 4. 

79. The philosophy of the Siddhanta was right from its inception concerned 
to establish the validity of our daily experience that the world is real. Accordingly, 
Sadyojyoti, the earliest Siddhantin whose works are still extant "never condemns 
perception, inference and the other modes of knowledge as illusory. His 
respect for the objective witness is as high as that for the most revered revelation." 
Sadyojyoti "tries, with great success, to prove the existence of everything 
whether secular or otherwise by such methods as are intelligible to all." (The 
Naresvarapariksa of Sadyojyoti with commentary by Ramakanjha, K.S.T.S., 
XLV, edited by Madhusudana Kaula Sastri 1926, Introduction p. 11.) 

Sivaraman writes: "Saiva Siddhanta approaches the reality of God in a 
different spirit. The theory of the illusoriness of the world is not a necessary 
formulation of religious consciousness, which is alive to the reality of God more 
as the 'Absolute Thou' than as being in general negatively implied by phenomena." 

230 Notes 

K. Sivaraman Saivism in Philosophical Perspective (Varanasi: Motilal Banar- 
sidass, 1973), p. 66. The phenomenology of perception requires the authentic 
existence of the perceived world. This is the a priori basis for any discussion 
about its possible nature. Expressing the Siddhanta's view Sivaraman writes: 
"But before showing the significant truth about the world's existence in time, 
it has to be acknowledged that the world is. The world must exist. The most 
formal statement we seem capable of making about the 'world' involving a 
minimum of theory is that the world intelligible to our understanding is qua 
intelligible an existent, in whatever sense the term 'world' is understood." 
(Ibid., p. 56). The Siddhanta theologian is particularly concerned to prove the 
existence of a real world so that he can establish the existence of God Who is 
its cause (ibid., p. 69). 

80. Sadyojyoti writes: 

Now, because the nature of consciousness is experience-as-such 
(anubhava), it is right to equate it with direct perception. Therefore 
the object immediately in front of us in the field of (this pure) experience 
is devoid of non-being. One should know this, namely, that there is a 
clearly evident distinction between consciousness and its object. The 
form of the first is experience while the latter is that which is experienced. 
(Nares'varapariksa, 1/8-9). 

81. See The Kashmiri Saiva Response to the Buddhist Challenge by 
Dyczkowski, lecture delivered at the Seventh World Buddhist Conference, 
Bologna, forthcoming. 

82. In the first section of the Naresvaraparik$a y Sadyojyoti seeks to establish 
the existence of the individual soul as both perceiver and agent. His chief 
opponent here is the Buddhist. According to Madhusudana Kaula: "the 
Buddhists receive a severe thrashing at the hands of our author and are defeated 
in their arguments more systematically and more directly than any other school." 
Ibid., Intro., p. 12. 

83. Sadyojyoti writes: "Therefore, although an object may change to 
some extent, it is perceived to be inherently stable because it is recognised 
[to be the same at all times]." Ibid., 1/34. In the absence of recognition, says 
Sadyojyoti, language would not be possible. If when we hear sounds, we can 
distinguish and recognise phonemic components within them and link them 
together as words that convey a meaning (again sensed through recognition), 
we have language. Ibid., 3/35-41. 

84. S.Dr., 4/ 118 ff. 

85., pp. 2-3. The reader is referred to the bibliography for biblio- 
graphical notes on these texts and their edition. 

86. See bibliography. 

87. R.T., 5/66. 

88. See my Translations from the Spanda Tradition of Kashmiri Saivism 
(Albany: State University of New York Press, forthcoming). 

89. See bibliography. 

90. See my Translations from the Spanda Tradition of Kashmiri Saivism 

Notes 231 

(Albany: SUNY Press, forthcoming). 

91. Sp.Nir., p. 33. 

92. K. C. Pandey does not therefore consider Spanda to be an independent 
system or school in its own right, but rather says that "the Spandakarika is 
simply an amplification of the fundamental principles of Saivaism as aphoristically 
given in the Sivasutra" (Pandey, p. 155). From another point of view K. C. 
Pandey sees in the Stanzas mere dogmatic statements of the fundamental 
principles of what he defines as the Spanda branch of the Pratyabhijna (ibid., 
p. 294). All the Kashmiri commentators on the Stanzas, however, consider it 
to represent an independent tradition, while the South Indian Madhavacarya 
in his enumeration of the works of the Pratyabhijna in the Sarvadarsanasamgraha 
does not include Spanda works. Although Pandey is reluctant to concede to 
the view that Spanda is an independent branch of Kashmiri Saivism, he does 
treat it as such when dealing with the Sivasutra, Spandakarika and their 

There are evident differences of opinion on this point. Thus J. C. Chatterjee 
criticises Buhler for saying that the Spanda- and Pratyabhijna-Sastra are two 
different systems, insisting that the term 'sastra' means here simply 'treatise' 
and not system. He believes that these works all belong to Trika (See Kashmir 
Shaivaism, p. 7, fn. 1). Dr. Kaw follows Chatterjee *s classification verbatim. 
Pt. Madhusudana Kaula also agrees (preface to the I. P. v., I, p. 1). Dvivedi 
maintains that Spanda is an independent branch of Kashmiri Saivism; however, 
he identifies Trika with the Pratyabhijna (L.A.S., II, p. 11) and so cannot think 
of Spanda as part of Trika without identifying it with the Pratyabhijna even 
though he does not want to do this. Although it is true that the Spandakarika 
is by no means as philosophical as the works of the Pratyabhijna and is particularly 
concerned with doctrine rather than argument, it does present its own views and 
doctrines in a terminology clearly distinguishable from the Pratyabhijna. 

93. sivopani§atsamgraharupani S'ivasutrani (, p. 2): Ksemaraja writes 
in the concluding verses of his commentary: 

"This is a commentary on the Aphorisms of Siva y expounded in order 
to penetrate Siva's secret doctrine and beautiful in its agreement 
with the scriptures and the Spanda [teachings]. To sever the bondage 
of phenomenal existence (bhava), may the pious savour this lucid 
[commentary], the Sivasutravimarsini, full of the flavour of the 
essence of the nectar that flows ever anew from the teachings of Siva's 
secret doctrine." (Ibid., p. 70). 

94. According to Ksemaraja, Siva graced Vasugupta by revealing the 
Aphorisms to him so that the secret tradition might not be lost in a world given 
over to dualism (, p. 1). Similarly, non-dualist Saivism is characterized 
by Somananda in his Sivadrsfi as a 'secret doctrine' {rahasyam sastram) in 
danger of being lost in the Kali age. (S.Dr., p. 220). 

95. The term 'system' is one that has been in general use since the earliest 
studies in Kashmiri Saivism. Buhler, as far back as 1877, made free use of the 
term. Later writers regularly referred to the major schools they discerned within 

232 Notes 

Kashmiri Saivism as 'systems'. Pandey makes explicit what he means by this 
term when he says that "these 'systems' are fundamentally distinct from one 
another. Each has a different history, a distinct line of teachers, a set of books 
in which it is propounded and a different conception of the ultimate reality" 
(Pandey, p. 295). The term 'system' is, however, problematic if we analyse 
Kashmir Saiva sources on these lines. It is not really possible to think of the 
Siddhantagamas, for example, as collectively concerned with a single theological 
standpoint or with the same ritual programmes in all their details. There are 
unmistakeable resemblances between Agamas, but the differences are equally 
notable. The same is particularly true of the Agamas belonging to the other 
groups. Thus, according to Abhinava, it is part of the Saiva teacher's job to 
find uniformity and consistency (ekavakyata) in the scriptures. These Kashmiris 
have, in their own brilliant way, sought and found such uniformity in the form 
of the Tantric systems which they have constructed from the raw and disordered 
material of the original sources. In this they do nothing new but participate, 
develop and extend a process apparent in the scriptures themselves. 

96. S.Dr., 6/9. The other schools of Vedanta Somananda refers to here 
are the citrabrahmavadins, who hold that Brahman assumes the diverse forms 
of the universe of objects, and the nanatmavadins, who attributed plurality 
to the Self (ibid., 6/3). Another school of Vedanta maintained that the Self, 
or Brahman, is the material cause (upadanarupa) of the universe (ibid., 6/8). 
There were also the atmavadins who argued that the Self, that is, the individual 
soul, is the absolute, and the netivadins who disagreed with them (ibid., 6/9). 
The sphulingatmavadins maintained that individual souls are related to Brahman 
as sparks are to a fire. The pratibimbavadins held that the Self is a reflection of 
Brahman (ibid., 6/11). One school of Vedanta declared that the Self is different 
in different bodies and that plurality (bheda) is inherent in the world, while 
another school maintained that although individual embodied souls do differ, 
they are in essence one with Brahman, just as waves are one with the sea 
(ibid., 6/13). 

97. The discovery of manuscripts of the Light of Consciousness (Sarnvit- 
prakas'a) by Vamanadatta (see above fn. 5) has brought to our notice an entirely 
new field of research, namely, monistic Kashmiri Vaisnavism. There appears 
to have been a number of works written by Kashmiri Vaisnavas which present 
basic Vaisnava tenets found in the Pancaratra and elsewhere in terms of an^ 
idealistic monism very similar to that of Kashmiri Saivism. Apart from the 
Samvitprakas'a we know that the Discernment of the Six Attributes ($dtfgunya- 
viveka) and the Essence of Ultimate Reality (Paramarthasara) were monistic 
Vaisnava works. These and other such works were well known to Kashmiri 
Saivas and influenced them. The quotations from Bhaskara's lost Kaksyastotra 
clearly show signs of monistic Vaisnava influence (see Sp.Pra., p. 103). Abhinava 
himself refers to Vamanadatta with respect as his elder and teacher (or predecessor, 
T.A., 5/155). Bhagavatotpala's commentary on the Stanzas on Vibration is 
particularly important from this point of view. In this work he clearly attempts 
an extensive integration of monistic Vaisnavism with Spanda doctrine and 
hence with Kashmiri Saivism. For a fuller treatment of these matters the reader 

Notes 233 

is referred to the Translations. 

98. See below chapter 3. 

99. See, p. 29. 

100. Sp.Nir., p. 5. 

101. It is a notable fact that these terms, so important in the technical 
vocabulary of the Pratyabhijna, are not at all common in the Saivagamas, 
although the concepts they denote are represented there. Consequently, these 
terms do not belong to the terminology of the Tantric systems syncretized 
into Kashmiri Saivism, at least as far as we can gather from the sources quoted 
by these Kashmiri authors themselves. As examples of the uncommon occurrence 
of the term 'vimarsa ' we can cite the Kdlikula: "The supreme power of the Lord 
of the gods Whose nature is supreme consciousness is reflective awareness 
(vimarsa) endowed with omniscient knowledge" (quoted in N.T.U., I, p. 21, 
and also in, p. 55). Abhinava refers to the Gamatantra which says: 
"The deity of mantra is considered to reflective awareness (vimarsa) co-extensive 
in being with the Great Consciousness.*' (T.A., X., p. 117). These two are 
virtually the only references quoted from the Agamas where this term occurs. 

102. Sv.Up., 6/14 quoted by Bhattananda on p. 51 of his commentary on 
the Vijndnabhairava edited by Mukundarama Sastrl K.S.T.S. No. 8 (Bombay: 

103. I.P., 1/5/11. 

104. I.P., 1/1/4. 

105. S.Dr., 1/1. 

106. Sp.Ka., 28-9. 

107. Ibid., 10. 

108. Ibid., 5. 

109. Utpaladeva writes that "repose in one's own essential nature (svasva- 
rupa) is the reflective awareness (vimarsa) that 'I am'" (A.P.S., v. 15). One 
might say that Utpaladeva is here explaining, in Pratyabhijna terms, that the 
Spanda doctrine of 'establishment in one's own essential nature' (svasvarupa- 
sthiti) implies that this, the liberated condition, is that of the pure ego-identity. 

110. Pandey says: "the books, for instance, which include the word 
'Spanda' in their titles, deal with what is referred to as 'Caitanya' or 'Vimarsa' 

(consciousness) in the Siva Sutra and Isvara Pratyabhijna Karika respectively 

They are mere dogmatic statements of the fundamental principles of the Spanda 
branch of the Pratyabhijna." (Pandey, pp. 293-4). 

111. I.P.v., I, p. 208. 

112., p. 1. 

113. Thus Dr. Rastogi, for example, in his book The Krama Tantricism 
of Kashmir discusses the Spanda school because he finds that Spanda doctrine 
is, like Krama, Sakta. This, he believes, links them vitally together. He says: 

It has been frequently repeated that the Spanda system is nearest to 
the Krama for its unmistakeable emphasis on the dynamic aspect of 
reality which technically passes under the name of Sakti or Spanda 
or Vimarsa. If this be granted, the Spandakarikd must propound 

234 Notes 

a system that is Sakta in nature (p. 116). 

114. T.A., 4/122b-181b. 

115. T.A., 1/168-70 where M.V., 2/21-3 is quoted. 


1. Cf. Chan.Up., 4/6/4. 

2. K. Potter, Presuppositions of India's Philosophies (Westport: Greenwood 
Press, 1977), p. 3. 

3. Sam.Ka., v. 21. 

4. Ibid., v. 59. 

5. Ibid., v. 62. 

6. Br.Up., 2/3/6. 

7. Sp.Sam., p. 24. 

8. Br.SO., 3/2/23. 

9. Br.Up., 2/4/14. 

10. Kena Up., 1/3. 

11. SB., 3/2/17. 

12. Bh.G., 2/20. 

13. When we refer to 'Vedanta' in this work we mean both the Advaita 
Vedanta developed by Sankara and, by extension, other forms of Vedanta of 
the same type. 

14. Ma.Ka., 4/13. 

15. Ma.Ka., 3/21, 4/7. 

16. S.B., 1/1/1. 

17. Whenever we refer to 'Saivism' or 'Saiva absolutism' we mean Kashmiri 
Saivism as a whole. Although a number of conceptions of the absolute are 
distinguishable in Kashmiri Saiva works, we are not concerned here with these 
differences but will, for our present purpose, treat them collectively as aspects 
of a single fundamental concept, the nucleus of which is its dynamic — Spanda — 

18. L. N. Sharma, Kashmir Saivism (Varanasi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakasana, 
1972), p. 9._ 

19. K.A., 1/110. 

20. M.V.V., 1/628. 

21. Samvidullasa, quoted in M.M., p. 75. 

22. T.A., 2/18. 

23. G. Kaviraj, Bharatiya Samskrti aur Sadhana, vol. 1 (Patna: 1963), p. 5. 

24. Throughout this work the appellation 'Saiva' refers to monistic 
Kashmiri Saivism unless otherwise specified. 

25. T.A., 1/136. 

26. Ibid., 6/9-10. 

27. As an example we can quote the following verse from one of Utpaladeva's 
Hymns (S.St., 16/30) also quoted by Rajanaka Rama in his commentary on the 

Notes 235 

Stanzas on Vibration (, p. 8): "O Lord of All! Your supreme [trans- 
cendent] lordship triumphs for it Lords over nothing. Just so is Your lower 
[immanent] Lordship by virtue of which this universe is not such as it appears 
to be." 

28. Ksemaraja, commenting on the verse quoted in the previous footnote, 
explains that it is not the universe (considered as an independent reality) which 
manifests but God as all the categories of existence. In this sense it is quite real. 
He quotes Utpaladeva as saying: "In this way all these physical objects (jatfa) 
which in themselves are as if unreal are [the forms] of the Light [of the absolute] 
alone. The Light alone exists, [manifesting] its own nature both as itself and 
as [everything] else." (A.P.S., 13). At Siva's supreme level all that manifests 
is Siva alone and so there is no world apart from Him. Siva's lower level of 
sovereignty corresponds to the states of Sadasiva and Isvara in which the universe 
is manifest within consciousness. It does not, therefore, appear as it does now 
to the ignorant, to whom it manifests as separate from consciousness (S.St., p. 270). 

29. T.A., 6/9-10. 

30. Abhinava writes: "How can any aspect [of reality] be manifest within 
the Light [of the absolute] if it is not that same Light? If it shines there within it, 
no duality between them is possible. If it does not, how can one say that it 
has any existence (vastuta)! Thus it makes no sense to say that the Light has 
any particular form." (T.A., 2/20-3). 

31. S. Dasgupta, History of Indian Philosophy vol. 1 (Cambridge: 
Cambridge University Press, 1969), p. 443. 

32. Ma.Ka., 3/44. 

33. ' Navamarga' or 'New Way' is an expression Utpaladeva has coined 
to refer to his systematization of the Pratyabhijna in the Stanzas on the Recogni- 
tion of God as taught originally by Somananda, his teacher. I. P., 4/ 1 / 1 . 

34. T.A., 32/1-2. 

35. Cf. G. Kaviraj, Tantrik Vangmaya mern Sakta Drsfi (Patna: Bihara 
Rastrabhasa Parisad, 1963), Chap. 6. 

36. M.V.V., 1/240. 

37. Ibid., 1/241-2. 

38. Ibid., 1/245. 

39. Ibid., 2/100-2. 

40. Ibid., l/262a. 

41. T.A. comm. 3/72a, srstavyanarusitecchamatrarupa; cf. M.V.V., 1/248. 

42. T. A., comm. 4/257b-8a. 

43. Cf. B. N. Pandit, Kasmlra Saiva Darsana (Jammu: Ranavir Kendriya 
Sanskrt VidyapUha, 1973), p. 7. 

44. M.V.V., 1/180-2. 

45. Abhinava writes: "if daily life which is useful for everybody, everywhere 
and at all times were not real then we know of nothing else which is real." 
I.P.v., II, p. 59. 

46. T. A., 4/254. 

47. M.V.V., 1/629-31. 

48., p. 163. 

236 Notes 

49. See MM., pp. 44-7, particularly p. 47. 

50. Ibid., p. 46. 

51. M.V.V., l/123-4a. 

52. M.M., p. 47. 

53. Ibid. 

54. Pr.Hr., su. 8, tadbhumikah sarvadarsanasthitayah; M.M., p. 12. 

55. M.M., p. 11. 

56. I.P.V.V., I, p. 12. 

57. M.M., p. 12. 

58. Ibid., p. 38, ya cit sattaiva sa prokta sa sattaiva ciducyate. 

59. Ibid., p. 34. 

60. T.A., 6/ 15; see also comm., I. P., 1/6/4-5. 

61. S.Dr., 4/ 7a, 4/29. 

62. Ibid., 5/l-4a. 

63. M.V.V., 1/88. 

64. Sam.Pan., p. 49. 

65. T.A., 3/4. 

66. M.M., pp. 4-5, svatmasarpvitsphurattamatrasvarupeti prakasa eva 
visvopasya devatetyapatitam. 

67. Sp.Pra., p. 104. 

68. Pr.H r ., PP- 27-8. 

69. Pr.Hp, P. 63. 

70. Sp.Nir., p. 3. 

71. S.B. (Gambhlrananda's trans.), p. 142. 

72. Ibid., p. 344. 

73. Sv.T., vol. 1, p. 57. 

74. See L. Silburn, Vijnanabhairava, (Paris: E. de Boccard, 1961) p. 12; 
also Pandey, p. 331. 

75. K.N. P., p. 4. 

76. P.T.v., p. 134. 

77. S.St., 10/12. 

78. S.Dr., pp. 129-30; Anuttara^fika, v. 7-8. 

79. T.A. comm. 3/21, vol. 2, pp. 29-30. 

80. I.P., 1/8/7. 

81. T.A., comm. 3/9, vol. 2, p. 11, samvitsamlagnameva hi viSvam 

82. S.Dr., comm. 4/31. 

83. I.P.V.V., I., pp. 4-5; cf. Sp.Nir., p. 10 and I.P., comm. 1/5/9. 

84. I.P., comm. 1/5/12. 

85. T. A., comm. 10/89-91a. 

86. Ucchu$mabhairavatantra, quoted in, p. 4. 

87. M.V.V., l/427a. 

88. I.P.V.V., II, p. 78. 

89. T. A., comm. 1/ 136b. 

90. M.V.V., 1/720. 

91. I.P.V.V., II, p. 159. 

Notes 237 

92. Ibid. 

93. I.P.V.V., I., p. 52. 

94. M.V.V., 1/430. 

95. I. P., I., p. 95, paraprakasanatmakanijarupaprakasanam eva hi svapra- 
kasatvam jnanasya bhanyate. 

96. sahopalambhaniyamad abhedo nilataddhiyoh iti vijnanakaramatram 
niladi prasadhayitum nirupitam. 

I.P.V.V., II, p. 78; cf. B.B., p. 4, T.A. comm. 3/123; also ibid., comm. 3/57. 

97. Sp.Pra., p. 89. 

98. See Pr.Hr., p. 52; Sp.Sam., pp. 11-12. 

99. Quoted from the Kalikakrama in comm. T.A., 5/80; comm. T.A., 3/57. 
Attributed to the Devikakrama in M.M., pp. 9-10. 

100. Vijnaptimatratasiddhi, v. 1. 

101. Sp.Nir., p. 10. 

102. .MM., v. 25; P.S., v. 26. 

103. Sv.T., 4/233. 

104. M.M., p. 53. 

105. S.Dr., 5/34; 5/105-6. 

106. Ibid., 5/16. 

107. Ibid., 5/104. 

108. Ibid., 5/109. 

109. S.Dr., 5/105-6. 

110. M.V.V., 1/764. 

111. Ibid., 1/747. 

112. Ibid., 1/768 and 1/762-3. 

113. M.M., p. 79. 

114. M.M., p. 44. 

115. Pandey, Intro, to Bhaskari III, p. cc. 

116. 'Kashmiri Saivism', J. Rudrappa, Quarterly Journal of the Mythic 
Society vol. 45, no. 3 (Bangalore: 1955), p. 29. 

117. Pandey, Intro, to Bhaskari, III, p. cc. 

1 18. R. K. Kaw, The Doctrine of Recognition (Hoshiarpur: Visvesvarananda 
Institute, 1967), p. 358. 

119. T.A., 3/93b, yo 'nuttarah parali spando .... 

120. I.P.v., I, p. 209, bhavanakartrta. 

121. I. P., II, p. 71, abhasamatram vastu. 

122. I.P.V. V., I, p. 220, astitvam prakasamanatvam eva. 

123. Sp.Nir., p. 12. 

124. M.V.V., 1/219. 

125. I.P.V.V., I, p. 10. 

126. T.A., 10/82. 

127. Quoted by L. M. Vail in Heidegger and Ontological Difference, 
Pennsylvania: Rider College, 1972, p. 10 from Sein und Zeit. 

128. Ibid., p. 15. 

129. Sein und Zeit, p. 36, quoted by L. M. Vail, p. 10. 

130. I.P.v., comm. 2/2/7. 

238 Notes 

13 1. I.P.V.V., I., p. 292. 

132. Quote from Divakaravatsa's Vivekahjana in LP. v., I., p. 10. 

133. I.P coram. 1/7/14. 

134. T.A., 10/144. 

135. I.P.V.V., I., p. 192. 

136. M.M., p. 47. 

137. I.P., v. II, p. 116. 

138. Bha., vol. 2, p. 63. 

139. I.P.V.V., I, pp. 266-7; cf. P.T.v., p. 139 ff. 

140. S.Dr., p. 7, paravasthayarn punah purno Tiamityeva svasvabhavah 

141. Quote in Sv.T., vol 2, p. 59; M.M., p. 65; cf. M.V.V., 1/658. 

142. M.V.V., 1/641; cf. P.T.v., p. 140. 

143. M.V.V., 1/1063-4. 

144. P.T.v., pp. 136-7. 

145. M.V.V, 1/131-2. 

146. I.P.v., comm. 2/3/7. 

147. Ibid. 

148. I.P.v., comm. 2/3/3. 

149. I.P.,v., comm. 2/3/1-2. 

150. I.P.v., comm. 2/3/6. 

151. I.P.v., I., pp. 329-30. 

152. I.P.v., II, pp. 91-2. 

153. I.P.v., I, p. 109. 

154. I.P.V. V., II, p. 107. 

155. I.P.v., I, p. 326. 

156. I.P., 1/8/6 and comm. 

157. I.P., 1/8/7. 

158. I.P., 1/8/6. 


1. I.P.V. V., II, p. 68: prakasa eva arthasya atma; I.P.V.V., II, p. 69: 
arthasya ca prakasamanata anubhavarupata atma. 

2. T.A., 3/2: yah prakasah sa sarvasya prakasatvam prayacchati. 

3. T.A., 8/3. 



vi., p. 16. 


T.A., comm. 5/59; 







pp. 132-3. 



p. 10. 



, p. 26. 



., l/62b-64. 

1/5/4-5; I.P.v., I, pp. 277-8. 

10. I.P.V. V., II, p. 69: na tu asau prakasamanatatma prakaso 'rthasya 
svarupabhuto 'rthasariramagnah. 

Notes 239 

11. I.P.V., I., p. 277. 

12. T.A., 1/ 136b. 

13. Sp.Ka., 2. 

14. P.T.L.V., intro. verse. 

15. M.M., v. 67, gutfhad gutfhataro bhavati sphutad api sphufatara esah. 

16. I.P.V.V., I, p. 5;, p. 2; M.V.V., 1/61; 1/419. 

17. M.V.V., l/69-70a. 

18. M.M., p. 4; Y.Hr., p. 1. 

19. Y.Hr., p. 65; M.M., v. 10. 

20. V.P.P., v. 22; cf. B.P., v. I and P.T.L.V., p. 1; Y.Hr., 2/75. 

21. P.T.V., p. 134. 

22. The Divine Names by Dionysius the Areopagite, trans. C. E. Rolt. 
(London: 1937), pp. 79-80. 

23. Anuttarasfika, v. 4. 

24. K. C. Bhattacarya, Studies in Philosophy vol. 2 (Calcutta: 1959), 
Intro., p. xiii. 

25. M.M., p. 88, prakaSyate 'nena prameyajatam iti vyutpattya prakaSah 
pramanam ityartho bhavati. 

26. LP., I, p. 151. 

27. Quote from Utpaladeva's commentary on his own Ajatfapramatrsiddhi 
in M.M., p. 133. 

28. M.M., p. 76. 

29. I.P.V.V., I, p. 710, Samvitprakas'a quoted in M.M. p. 20 and Sp.Pra. 
p. 1 14: jfianam iti hi jnatrtaiva ukta. 

30. M.M., p. 133; M.V.V., 1/433. 

31. I.P., v. II, p. 66. 

32. M.M., p. 76: putatvam caisam asesavisvakro^Ikarasamarthyat. 

33. T.A., 4/ 171-2; cf. P.S., comm. v. 4 and I. P., 2/1/8. 

34. Jnanagarbhastotra quoted in Sp.Nir., p. 48. 

35. Cf. I.P., 1/5/12 and I.P.v. I, p. 198. 

36. V.R., comm. v. 3. 

37. Y.Hr-, P- 65; also T.A., comm. 3/ 2a. 

38. T.A., 3/120-1. 

39. Ibid. 

40. See S. K. Saksena, The Nature of Consciousness in Hindu Philosophy 
Chowkhamba, (Benares: 1969), p. 73. 

41. M.M., p. 30; T.A., 2/9; 17/20a-2a, 10/144-6a. 

42. Sp.Ka. vi., p. 92; cf. P.S., v. 6 and comm. 

43. I.P., v. II, p. 48. 

44. I.P., vol. 1, p. 162; I.P.V. V., Ill, pp. 79-80. 

45. I.P., v. I, p. 160. 

46. I.P., 1/5/3. 

47. I.P v. I, p. 160. 

48. T.A., 2/18. 

49. Ibid., 2/20-1; T.Sa., pp. 5-6. 

50. T.A., 3/101b-2a; M.V.V., 1/80. 

240 Notes 

51. T.A., 3/100b-la. 

52. Quoted in I.P., v. II, p. 177. 

53. Ibid. 

54. Kamikagama, quoted in T.A., 1/66; cf. P.S., v. 6. 

55. T.A., 3/8. 

56. I.P.V.V., I, p. 6. 

57. I.P.v., II, p. 178; P.S., v. 12-3. 

58. T.Sa., chap. 3. 

59. T.A„ 3/49. 

60. Ibid., 3/37. 

61. Ibid., 3/59. 

62. Ibid., comm. 

63. Ibid., 3/33. 

64. Ibid., 3/34. 

65. Ibid., 3/29. 

66. Ibid., 3/58. 

67. Ibid., comm. 3/1, svatantrad eti prakasanakriyakartrtvam. 

68. Ibid., 3/11. 

69. I.P V.V., I, p. 9. 

70. T.A., 3/3. 

71. T.A., 4/138. 

72. Sp.Nir., p. 3. 

73. I.P.V. V., II, p. 69: arthasya ca prakasamanata anubhavarupata atma 
. . . arthasya ya prakasamanata sa prakaso 'nubhavah. 

74. C. G. Jung, Psychology and Religion: East and West, vol. XI of the 
Collected Works (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul) pp. 1-2. 

75. T.Sa., p. 12; cf. I.P.v., p. 338. 

76. M.M., p. 34, evam ca prakasasya vimarsah svabhava ityanglkaryam. 

77. I.P., 1/5/11. 

78. I.P.v., comm. 1/5/20. 

79. I.P.v., I,_p. 198. 

80. Ibid.; T.A., comm. 4/172. 

81. Cf. P.T.V., p. 136. 

82. M.M., p. 67: vimarsakhyo yah samrambhah svantahsphuratkriyasakti- 
sphararupah . . . 

83. Ibid. 

84. Parapra, pp. 1-2. 

85. M.M., v. 12; ibid. p. 67. 

86. I.P.V.V., I, pp. 5-6; I.P.v., I, p. 198. 

87. Sp.Nir., p. 13, vastutastu etad vlryasaram evasesam. 

88. A.P.S., v. 15. 

89. P.T.V., p. 75. 

90. M.V.V., 1/381-2. 

91. I.P.v., comm. 1/5/18. 

92. Pandey, pp. 324-5. 

93. I.P.v., II, pp. 223-4. 

Notes 241 

94. M.V.V., 1/88. 

95. M.M., p. 40. 

96. I.P.v., I, p. 338. 

97. L. Silburn, M.M., p. 95. 

98. I.P., 1/1/4. 

99. I.P., 1/5/19. 

100. Ibid, comm.; S.Dr., p. 12. 

101. I.P.V.V., I, p. 5. 

102. P.T.V., p. 130. 

103. M.V.V., l/625-6a. 

104. M.M., v. 12. 

105. I.P.V. V., II, p. 38: itthamabhasasya vimarsa eva jivitam iti tadbheda- 
bhedakrtaiva vastubhedabhedasthitih | iha ca vimarsa aikyena eva. 

106. I.P.v., I, p. 202. 

107. Ibid. 

108. Sp.Nir., pp. 31-2. 

109. I.P.v., I., p. 205. 

110. Sp.Nir., p. 66. 


1. I.P.V. I, p. 43, fn. 79. 

2. T.A., 4/ 122b-3a; cf. ibid., 4/ 147. 

3. Sp.Ka., 16. 

4. M.M., p. 110. 

5. I.P., l/8/8b. 

6. T.A., 4/147. 

7. I.P., 1/6/3-5; P.S., comm. v. 2. 

8. M.V.V., 1/623. 

9. P.S., p. 10. 

10. Ibid. I.P.V.V., III, p. 318; Sp.Nir., p. 23; M.M., p. 44. 

11. I.P., 2/1/8. 

12. T.A., 3/ 141b. 

13. I.P.V., II, p. 144. 

14. Sp.Nir., p. 32. 

15., p. 50. 

16. Sp.Nir., p. 32. 

17. I.P.v., I, pp. 208-9. 

18. P.T.V., p. 207. 

19. Y.Hr., p. 15. 

20. S.St., 20/9, quoted in Sp.Sam., p. 9. 

21. I.P., 2/1/2. 

22. S.Dr., pp. 10-11; ibid. p. 11, fn. 1. 

23. T.Sa., p. 84: atra cesam vastavena patha kramavandhyaiva srsjir 

242 Notes 

ityuktam kramavabhaso'pi castltyapi uktam eva. 

24. Sp.Sam., p. 25; cf. T.A., comm. 4/ 179. 

25. T.A., 10/220b-2. 

26. I.P., 2/l/4a. 

27. I.P.V.V., II, p. 318: sa eva capeksantarena yaugapadyam. 

28. T.A., 9/ 17b. 

29. I.P., 2/1/3. 

30. M.V.V., l/125-6a. 

31. M.V.V., 1/419. 

32. Sp.Sam., p. 8. 

33. T.A., 4/179b-180a; cf. ibid. 29/80a and 10/224a. 

34. SpJMir., p. 5. 

35. T.A., 11/110. 

36. Sp.Ka., 45. 

37. Pr.Hj\, comm. su. 8; P.T.v., p. 165. 

38. Sp.Nir., p. 10. 

39. St.Ci., p. 1;T.A., 5/79. 

40. Sp.Nir., pp. 3-4. 

41. M.U.V., v. 9. 

42. Ibid., v. 11. 

43. Sp.Ka., 1; Sp.Nir., p. 5; M.M., p. 74; P.T.L.V., p. 2. 

44. M.V.V., 1/260-1. 

45. Sp.Sam., p. 4. 

46. T.A., comm. 5/62. 

47. I.P.V.V., I, p. 45. 

48. Sp.Nir., p. 4. 

49. M.M., p. 74. 

50. Sp.Sam., pp. 5-6. 

51. Sp.Nir., pp. 5-6. 

52. Sp.Nir., p. 5. 

53. e.g., Chan. Up. 3/14/18; "Verily, this whole world is Brahman. 
Tranquil, let one worship It as that from which he came forth, as that into 
which he will be dissolved, as that in which he breathes" (Hume's translation). 

54. Ma.Ka., 2/27-8. 

55. S.B'., trans, pp. 327-8 (italics mine). 

56. Br.Up., 5/1/1. 

57. Sp.Pra., p. 85. 

58. I.P.V.V., I, p. 8. 

59. Ibid., I., pp. 8-9. 

60. Ibid., I, p. 145. 

61. T.A., VI, p. 7: karyakaranabhavatma tattvanam pravibhago vak- 
tavyah . . . 

62. Sp.Nir., p. 4. 

63. P.T.V.^pp. 135-6. 

64. Cf. T.A., 4/ 167a. 

65. See Chapter 7, p. 164. 

Notes 243 

66. Sp.Pra., p. 90. 

67. I.P., comm. 1/5/14. 

68. S.Dr., l/19-22a. 

69. P.T.V., p. 177. 

70. S.Dr., 1/2; cf. also ibid., pp. 13-4; Sp.Pra., p. 90. 

71. S.Dr,, comm. 1/2. 

72. S.Su., 1/ 17 (Bhaskara's recension). 

73. Ibid., comm. 

74. S.Dr., comm. 1/3-4. 

75. Sp.Pra., p. 88. 

76. Sp.Nir., p. 6; Sp.Pra., p. 98; Sp.Sam., p. 6. 

77. I.P., 2/4/21. 

78. I.P.V.V., II, p. 233. 

79. I.P.v., I., p. 193. 

80. I.P.V.V., II, p. 234. 

81. S.Dr., p. 17: karmavacchinnanivrtir aunmukhyam. 

82. Ibid.: anavacchinna nivrtimatram anandasaktih. 

83. I.P.V.V., II, p. 355. 

84. M.V.V., 1/214-5. 

85. M.M., p. 75. 

86. Sp.Sam., p. 7. 

87. S.Dr., l/7b-8. 

88. Sp.Pra., p. 84. 

89. S.Dr., p. 12 (footnote). 

90., p. 129. 

91. S.Dr., l/13b-5. 

92. S.Dr., p. 11, fn. 1. 

93. Ibid., p. 10, fn. 2. 

94. Ibid., pp. 10-11. 

95. Sp.Nir., p. 40; Pr.Hr., p. 79. 

96. V.B., v. 71. 

97. P.T.V., p. 42. 

98. Sp.Ka., 22; cf. V.B., v. 101; ibid., v. 118. 

99., p. 73. 

100. M.V.V., l/367b-8a. 

101., pp. 73-4. 

102. Ibid., p. 121. 

103. T.A., 5/ 104b-5a. 

104. Sp.Pra., p. 123. 

105. Cf. Pr.Hr., su. 20 and comm. 

106. Cf. Sp.Ka., 29. 

107. Sp.Pra., p. 123. 

108. Sp.Nir., p. 64. 

109., p. 124. 

110. T.A., II, pp. 85-6. 

111. M.V.V., p. 26. 

244 Notes 

112. Ibid., 1/267. 

113. Sp.Ka., 3. 

114. I.P.v., I, p. 108. 

1 15. I.P.V. V., I., p. 286:tatracayadaisvaryamsvatantryamsajna^afoktiriti. 

116., p. 7: nimesa prasrtakriyaSaktitvat svarupasamkocarupe 
jagatab udaya udbhavah. 

117. I.P.v., II, p. 136. 

118. I.P., comm. 1/5/14. 

119., p. 2. 

120. S.Dr., p. 148. 

121. M.V.V., 1/344-a. 

122. Ibid., l/310b-lla. 

123. T.A., 3/99a-100a. 

124., p. 4. 

125. T.A., l/314b-5a. 

126. N.T., 21/39b-40a. 


1. O Three-eyed Lord! You contemplate Your pairs of opposites (yuga) 
such as Heaven and Earth, ocean and river, tree and forest, tone and 
microtone, internal and external, white (semen) and red (ovum), light 
and darkness, knowledge and action in [Your] extensive consciousness 
of both. 

M.M., p. 72. 

2. V.B., v. 18. 

3. S.Dr., 3/7a. 

4. Ibid., 3/2b-3. 

5. Sp.Nir., p. 6. 

6. P.P., v. 30. 

7. T.A., 3/93b. 

8. yamalam prasaram sarvam, ibid., comm. 3/67; also ibid., 3/68 and 
ibid., 29/49. 

9. Ibid., comm. 28/ 322a. 

10. Sp.Nir., p. 3. 

11. T.A., 5/60-la. 

12. Ibid., comm.. 

13. Ibid., 29/1 16-7a. 

14. Ibid., 29/119-20: My translation differs from Gnoli's who renders 
*iti tathoditarn Santam' as: 'tale e la descrizione della forma quiescente\ The 
context is the sexual union of Siddha and Yogini through which they realise 
the union of opposites. 

15. Ibid., 29/120-1. 

16. M.M., v. 28. 

Notes 245 

17. Sarfividullasa quoted in M.M., p. 152. 

18. P.T.V., p. 167. 

19. K.K.V., p. 158. 

20. Ibid., p. 156. 

21. Ibid., v. 50. 

22. Ibid., p. 153. 

23. Ibid., p. 157. 

24. Sp.Nir., p. 66. See Chapter 7 for a detailed description of this movement. 

25. K.K.V., v. 5. 

26. Ibid., v. 25. 

27. Ibid., v. 50. 

28. Sp.Ka., 1; Sp.Nir., p. 8. 

29. Ibid., p. 19; cf. Sp.Pra., p. 108. 

30. T.A., comm. 1/74; V.B., v. 20-1. 

31. Sp.Pra., p. 85. 

32. Sp.Ka., 29a. 

33. I.P.v., I, p. 9. 

34. sam karoti iti samkarah, Sp.Pra., p. 88;, p. 3; Sv.T., I., p. 9. 

35. Sp.Pra., p. 85. 

36. I.P.v. I., p. 17. 

37. Sp.Nir., p. 3. 

38. Sp.Pra., p. 88. 

39. Ibid., p. 90. 

40. S.St., 20/12, quoted in Sp.Nir., p. 19. 

41. Sp.Pra., p. 84. 

42. Sp.Nir., p. 3. 

43. St.Ci., v. 69. 

44. Ibid., v. 73. 

45. A verse quoted from his own stotra by Ksemaraja in comm., St.Ci., v. 34. 

46. I.P.v., I, pp. 13-4. 

47. St.Ci., v. 34. 

48. Ibid., v. 33. 

49. Sp.Pra., p. 85. 

50. Sp.Pra. p. 92; M.M., p. 118 yad yad rupam kamayate tat tad devata- 
rupam bhavati. 

51. St.Ci., v. 96. 

52. M.M., pp. 3-4. 

53. Ibid., p. 117. 

54. Ibid., p. 118. 

55. S.Dr., 1/1. 

56. Sp^ir., p. 18. 

57. T.A., 1/73; I.P., comm. 1/5/16-17. 

58. T.A., 10/120. 

59. Sp.Nir., p. 48; cf. M.M., p. 155. 

60. S.Su., 3/27: katha japah. 

61. St.Ci., v. 21. 

246 Notes 

62. Sp.Nir., p. 12. 

63. Ibid., p. 15; Sp.Pra., p. 95; cf. I.P., comm. 2/2/3. 

64. I.P., 2/3/15; Pr.Hr.,sii. 2. 

65. M.V.V., 1/1041; cf. 1/951-2; T.A., 11/97-9. 

66. I.P., comm. 2/3/15-6. 

67. M.V.V., 1/276-7. 

68., p. 8. 

69. T. A., 9/221-2. 

70. Sp.Nir., p. 36; I.P., 4/1/4. 

71. Pr.Hr., sa. 5. 

72. Ibid., su. 6;S.Su., 3/1. 

73. See below chapter 5, fn. 102. 

74. Sp.Nir., p. 16. 

75. Ibid. 

76., p. 28. 

77. Ibid., p. 64. 

78. Sp.Ka., 19b. 

79. Although Ksemaraja glosses 'gunadi' (lit. -qualities, etc.') as referring 
to the qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, Swami Laksmanjoo of Kashmir 
interprets 'gwtadi' to mean the powers of the sense organs of knowledge and 
action {karma- and jnanendriya). According to this interpretation, what the 
verse means is that the generic vibration of universal consciousness can be 
realised by means of the particular pulsations of consciousness operating through 
the senses. 

80. Sp.Ka., 19-20. 

81. P.S., comm. v. 39. 

82. T.A., 3/ 287a. 

83., pp. 66-7. 

84. Sp.Ka., l/21a. 

85. Sp.Pra., p. 106. 

86. T.A., 9/52b-3a. 

87. I.P.V.V., II, p. 209. 

88. Bha., vol. 2, p. 208; cf. T.A., 4/171-2. 

89. I.P.v., I, pp. 31-2. 

90. I.P.v., comm. 1/5/15. 

91. I.P., comm. 2/3/17. 

92. P.S., comm. v. 4. 

93., p. 9; cf. I.P.V.V., II, p. 208; T.A. 4/171-2. 

94. Ibid. 

95. S.Sii., 3/30. 

96. T.A., 1/74. 

97. Cf. S.Dr., 4/ 1-3. 

98. Ibid., comm. 

99. I.P.V.V., I. p. 273; T.A., 10/ 163; cf. S.Dr., 4/2. 

100. T.A., comm. 1/69: phalabhedad aropitabhedah padarthatma Sakti. 

101. I.P.V.V., I, p. 288. 

Notes 247 

102., p. 12. 

103. I.P.v., II, p. 43. 

104. T.A., 1/78-81. 

105. Sp.Nir., pp. 14-5. 

106. M.M., p. 47. 

107. T.A., comm. 1/2. 

108. P.T.V., p. 130. 

109. I.P.v., I., p. 338. 

110. P.T.V., p. 133. 

111. M.V., 3/33, quoted in T.A., 3/71b-2a and Sp.Nir.'! pp. 67-8. 

112. T.A., 3/72b-3a. 

113. I.P.v., comm. 1/8/10-11. 

114. Ibid. 

115. I.P.v., comm. 2/2/3. 

116. M.M., p. 47. 

117. T.A., 3/74b-5a. 

118. I.P.v., comm. 1/8/10-11. 

119. Ibid. 

120. M.M., p. 47. 

121. T.A., 1/3. 

122. M.V., 3/31, quoted in Sp.Nir. p. 67. 

123. T.A., 13/266-8a; Sp.KaWi., p. 133. 

124. Sp.Ka\, 48. 

125. Sp.Nir., p. 72. 

126. Intro., comm. in Sp.Nir. on Sp.Kd., v. 48. 

127., p. 144. 

128. T.A., 13/269. 

129. Sp.Nir., p. 72. 

130. Ibid. 

131. Quote from Kalian's comm. in, p. 143. 

132. Ibid. 

133. Sp.Ka., 48. 

134., p. 152. 

135. T.A., 3/ 192b-3a. 

136. T.A., 3/93. 


1. T.A., 5/ 102b-4a. 

2. T.A., 1/109-12. 

3. P.T.V., p. 35. 

4. Sp.Nir., p. 6. 

5. Sp.Sam., p. 14. 

6. Ibid. 

248 Notes 

7. Sa.Dr., p. 182. 

8. Sp.Sam., p. 22. 

9. Sp.Ka., 1. 

10. M.M., p. 38; T.A., 3/266-7. 

11. M.V.V., 1/944-6. 

12. M.M., p. 82. 

13. An unknown Tantra Jayaratha quotes in T.A., p. 40 says: "The Supreme 
Sky is the King of Realities (tattva), the abode of contemplation, the contemplative 
absorption which pervades upward from the Centre [of consciousness]." 

14. Ibid., 3/ 140. 

15. M.V.V., 1/949. 

16. V.B., pp. 110-1. 

17. Ibid., v. 89. 

18. S.C.N., v. 42. 

19. Sp.Sam., p. 6; M.M., p. 50. 

20. Cf. Sp.Ka., 41. 

21. I.P.V.V., II, p. 63-4. 

22. P.T.V., p. 35. 

23. M.V.V., p. 16. 

24. Pr.Hr., pp. 46-7. 

25. Sv.T., vol. 2, pp. 185-94. 

26. Ibid. 

27. T.A., 11/21. 

28. L.V.,v. 40. 

29. Ibid., v. 39. 

30. Sp.Pra., p. 97. 

31. Alokamala quoted in Sp.Nir., p. 28; Sp.Pra., p. 97. 

32. Sv.T., 4/292 in Sp.Nir., p. II. 

33. Sp.Nir., p. 11; ibid., p. 27. 

34. Ibid. 

35. Ibid. 

36. Sp.Ka., 15. 

37. Sp.Nir., pp. 32-3. 

38. Sp.Ka., 12. 

39. Ibid., 10. 

40. Ibid., 13. 

41. Sp.Nir., p. 29: spandatattvasamaviviksQnam api ca Sithilibhuta 
prayatnanam £unyam etad vighnabhQtam. 

42. Kallata's comm. on Sp.Ka., 1. 

43. Pr.Hr., comm. sQ. 20. 

44. S.Dr., p. 6. 

45. Yogatattva Up., 131-3. 

46. I.P.V.V., I., p. 47. 

47. Quoted in M.M., p. 24. 

48. Sp.Pra., p. 88. 

49. I.P.V.V., II, pp. 258-9. 

Notes 249 

50. M.V.V., 2/ 1 15; T. A., 5/127. 

51. T.A., 5/37-40. 

52. Ibid., 3/254. 

53. Ibid., 4/ 146b. 

54. See below. 

55. T.A., 3/250b-la. 

56. Ibid., comm. 4/ 145. 

57. Sp.Nir., p. 6. 

58. T.A., 5/27b-36. 

59. Ibid., 5/42. 

60. Ibid., 5/37-8. 

61. Kramakeli'm MM., p. 172; Sp.Nir., p. 6. 

62. Kallata's comm. on Sp.K&., 1. 

63. Sp.Sam., p. 1. 

64. Sp.Nir., p. 7. 

65., p. 162. 

66. Sp.Nir., p. 74. 

67., p. 164. 

68. Sp.Ka., 51. 

69. Pr.Hr., su. 20. 

70. Cf. P.T.V., p. 251. 

71. T.A., 5/33. 

72. P.T.L.V., p. 7. 

73. Sp.Nir., p. 25. 

74. P.T.L.V., p. 13. 

75. Sp.Sam., p. 17. 

76. Ibid., p. 18. 

77. Ibid., p. 23. 

78. Ibid., p. 17. 

79. Ibid., p. 12. 

80. Ibid., p. 20-1. 

81. Kulayukti quoted in Sp.Pra., p. 86. 

82. See Sp.Nir., p. 38. 

83. M.M., p. 86. 

84. P.T.V., pp. 39-40. 

85. M.M., p. 86. 

86. Sp.Nir., p. 37; Sp.Sam., p. 21. 

87. M.M., p. 86; K. C. Pandey, p. 508. 

88. P.P., v. 23. 

89. T.A., 4/177b-8a. 

90. Sp.Nir., p. 37. 

91. Sp.Sam., p. 21. 

92. Pr.Hr., p. 60. 

93. L. Silburn, V.S., p. 75. 

94. Sp.Sam., p. 20; cf. Sp.Nir., p. 28. 

95. Sp.Sam., p. 20; Pr.Hr., p. 60-1. 

250 Notes 

96. Sp.Sam., p. 21. 

97. Cf. Sp.Nir., p. 20; L.A.S., p. 63. 

98. Sp._Nir., p. 46. 

99. T.A., 9/244-5. 

100. I.P. comm., 4/1/1/. 

101. Sp.Ka., 6-7. 

102. This is according to Kallaja's interpretation of this passage. Rajanaka 
Rama and Bhagavatotpala agree with this view. Ksemaraja, however, interprets 
the 'inner circle' to mean the presiding deities of the senses (see below) and 
expressly refutes the other commentators' interpretation. Ksemaraja also 
rejects Abhinava's view (expressed in I.P.V.V., II, p. 301) that the Inner circle' 
stands for the subtle body (purya$(aka) which transmigrates at death. Sp.Nir., 
p. 20-1. 

103. M.M., v. 20. 

104. T.A., 9/225; M.V., 1/30. 

105. T.A., 9/227. 

106. Ibid., 9/228-9. 

107. Ibid., 9/230. 

108. T.Sa., p. 86. 

109. V.P., v. 3. 

110. A.P.S., v. 22b. 

111. I.P.v., I., p. 239. 

112. T.A., 9/231-2; T.Sa., p. 86. 

113. T.A., 37/2; V.B., v. 109. 

114. St.Ci., v. 37. 

115. T.A., 9/231. 

116. Sp.Nir., p. 22. 

117. T.A., 4/160-3. 

118. Ibid., 9/277. 

119. See I.P., 2/2/3 and comm. T.A., 9/278-9. 

120. M.M., v. 21. 

121. Ibid., p. 61. 

122. Ibid., p. 61. 

123. Ibid., p. 84. 

124. I.P.v., comm. 1/1/3. 

125. I.P., 1/1/4. 

126. T. A., comm. 9/246. 

127. M.M., p. 62. 

128. Ibid. 

129. T.A., 9/234. 

130. Ibid., 9/241. 

131. Ibid., 9/249-50. 

132. T.A., 9/242-3. 

133. Ibid., 9/271-2. 

134. M.M., p. 63. 

135. T.A., 9/265b-8. 

Notes 251 

136. Walking entails abandoning one place and reaching another. 

137. At the climax of sexual union the individual experiences the bliss 
and contentment of resting in his own nature and so neither seeks to procure 
nor abandon anything. 

138. T.A., 9/256. 

139. M.M., p. 61. This is also the name of a section of the Stanzas on 


1. S.Su., 1/2: jftanam bandhah. 

2. Cf. T.A., 12/5; M.M., p. 73. 

3. T. A., 4/ 1 19b-20a. 

4. P.S., v. 74. 

5. I.P.V.V., I., p. 43. 

6. S.Su., 1/14; M.M., p. 80: drSyarn sariram. 

7. T.A., 12/6-8. 

8. M.M., p. 73. 

9. V.P.,v. 6. 

10., p. 15. 

11. I.P.V.V., II, pp. 135-6. 

12. T.A., 9/161b-4a. 

13., p. 5;, p. 10. 

14., pp. 37-8. 

15. T.A., 6/62; M.M., v. 29. 

16., p. 23. 

17. M.M., p. 74. 

18. T.A., 4/119. 

19. Ibid., 15/284b-7a. 

20. P.S., comm. v. 60. 

21. Ibid., comm. v. 67. 

22. Ibid., comm. v. 68. 

23. Ibid., comm. v. 76. 

24. T.A., 15/234b-6. 

25. S.Su., 2/8. 

26. V.B., v. 149. 

27. P.S., v. 76. 

28. Ibid., comm. 

29. Quoted in, p. 33. 

30. Sp.Ka., 9 and comm. by Ksemaraja. 

31. T.A., IX, pp. 129-30. 

32. Ibid., 15/238. 

33. Ibid., 15/265. 

34. Ibid., comm. 15/261. 

252 Notes 

35. Ibid., 15/267b-8a. 

36. Ibid., 15/167. 

37. Ibid., 12/12. 

38. P.S., v. 79-80. 

39. Cf. ibid., v. 61-2. 

40. T.A., 29/183-5. 

41. P.T.V., p. 42. 

42. M.M., v. 34. 

43. P.S., v. 47-50. 

44. P.T.V., p. 42. 

45. by Varadaraja, l/77b. 

46. P.T.V., p. 61. 

47. T.A., comm. 5/20. 

48. Sp.Nir., p. 20; Sp.Sam., p. 15. 

49. See Pandey (appendix C), pp. 952-3. 

50. P.S., comm. v. 51;, p. 40. 

51. M.M., v. 24. 

52. Sp.Nir., p. 20. 

53. Ibid., p. 20. 

54. M.M., pp. 7-8. 

55. M.M., p. 14. 

56. S.St., 8/5 quoted in Sp.Nir., p. 21. 

57. V.B., v. 74. 

58. St.Ci., v. 61. 

59. I.P.V.V., II, p. 178-9. 

60. T.A., 10/160-1. 

61. Ibid., 3/ 229b. 

62. Ibid., 3/ 209b- 10. 

63. P.T.V., pp. 45-52. 

64. T. A., 3/229. 

65. S.Su., 3/9; cf. S.Dr., 1/37; M.M., v. 19. 

66. S.Su., 3/10. 

67. Ibid., 3/11. 

68. St.Ci., v. 59. 

69. S.St., 1/20. 

70. T. A., comm. 3/229. 

71. Ibid., 4/120. 

72. S.St., 13/8. 

73. T.A., 5/83. 

74. Sv.Up., 3/17a-19 (Hume's trans.). 

75., p. 34. 

76. Sp.Nir., p. 8. 

77. S.Su., 1/22. 

78. M.M., v. 63. 

79. V.B., v. 32. 

80. P.S., p. 47. 

Notes 253 

81. Sp.Sam., pp. 2-3. 

82. Sp.Pra., p. 94; M.M., pp. 60-1. 

83. Sp.Ka., 8. 

84. Sp.Pra., p. 97. 

85. M.M., pp. 56-7. 

86., p. 8. 

87. Ibid. 

88. Sp.Ka., 41. 

89., p. 116. 

90. P.T.V., p. 108. 

91. V.B., v. 62. 

92. Sp.Nir., p. 62. 

93. Ibid. 

94. Sp.Ka., 36-7. 

95. M.M., pp. 174-5. 

96. Ibid., comm. v. 13. 

97. Ibid., p. 106. 

98. Ibid., p. 174. 

99. Ibid., v. 42. 

100. Sp.Nir., p. 19. 

101., p. 38. 

102. Sp.Nir., p. 22. 

103. Pr.Hr., su. 15. 

104. Kallata, comm. Sp.Ka., 37. 

105. Sp.Ka., 38. 

106. Kallata, comm. Sp.Ka., 6-7. 

107., p. 111. 

108. Kallata, comm. Sp.Ka., 38. 

109. Sp.Nir., p. 59;, p. 110. 

110. Sp.Ka., 40. 

111. T.A., 12/24: Sartkaya jayate glanifc. 

112. Ibid. 

113. P.T.V., pp. 233-5. 

114. T.A., 12/20. 

115. Ibid. 

116. P.T.V., p. 233. 

117., pp. 114-5. 

118. Sp.Nir., p. 61. 

119. P.T.V., p. 235. 

120. Sp.Ka., 9-10. 

121. T.A., 9/ 144b-5a. 

122. Ibid., 9/62; P.T.V., p. 41. 

123. Sp.Nir., p. 23. 

124. M.V., 1/23. 

125. I.P., 3/2/4. 

126. Sp.Nir., p. 23. 

254 Notes 

127. I.P., 3/2/5: bhinnavedyapratha. 

128. Pr.Hr., p. 79. 

129. V.B., v. 49. 

130. C.G.C., v. 28. 

131. T.A., 3/262-4. 

132. P.Hr., p. 97: citsamanyaspandabhuh unmesatmavyakhyatavya. 

133. Sv.T., I., p. 14. 

134. I.P.V.V., II., p. 25. 

135. Pr.Hr., p. 79. 

136. Sp.Nir., p. 25. 

137. Kaksyastotra quoted in Pr.Hr., p. 80; M.M., p. 80. 

138. Sp.Nir., p. 20. 

139. M.M., p. 90. 

140. Ibid. 

141. Quoted in Sp.Nir., p. 25; M.M., p. 90. 

142. I.P.v., II, p. 178; V.B., v. 60. 

143. M.M., p. 91; Sp.Nir., p. 25; on Mudra see T.A., XXXII; Pr.Hr., 
pp. 85-88. 

144. Sp.Nir., p. 25. 

145. Sp.Ka., 11. 

146. T.A., 5/80b. 

147. M.M., p. 91. 

148. T.A., comm. 5/79. 

149. S.Su., 1/21; Pr.Hr., su. 20 and comm. 

150. Sp.Nir., p. 74. 

151. Ibid., p. 44. 

152. Ibid. 

153. Ibid., pp. 25-6, p. 54. 

154. Quoted in Pr.Hr, p. 86. 

155. Pr.Hr, PP- 85-6. 

156. Ibid., p. 88. 

157. S.SQ., 1/12. 

158. Sp.Ka., 11. 

159. Sp.Nir., pp. 25-6. 


1. The waking state is knowledge'. 'Dreaming is the formation of thought- 
constructs.' S.Su., 1/8-9. Ksemaraja, commenting on these Aphorisms says: 
"the first moment of awareness (jnana), free of the thought-constructs proper to 
the dreaming state, is waking. Again, those thought-constructs which [arise] 
there constitute dreaming.", p. 11. 

2. Sp.Ka., 5: "That exists in the ultimate sense where there is neither 
pleasure nor pain, subject nor object, nor an absence of consciousness." 

Notes 255 

3. Sp.Pra., p. Ill, 115; Sp.Ka., 10. 

4. T.A., 6/68-9. 

5. Ibid., 15/107-9a. 

6. Ibid. 4/ 209b- 10. This verse refers to the realisation of identity with 
Siva in the absolute (anuttara) which Abhinava identifies with the supreme 
form of Spanda (ibid., 3/ 93b). 

7. Ibid., comm. 4/94. Jayaratha says: "Bondage is defined as the spatial 
and other relative distinctions which pertain to the contracted condition 
consciousness freely assumes." 

8. S.Su., 1/2.; T. A., 1/26-30. 

9. Ibid., 1/25. 

10. Ibid., 9/71b-5a. 

11. Pr.Hr., p. 32: Ksemaraja writes: "If we reflect carefully on the nature 
of contraction [we discover that] because we experience it to be one with 
consciousness, even that is nothing but consciousness itself." 

12. T.A., 1/141. 

13. Ibid., comm. 5/9. 

14., p. 12, fn. 14. 

15. Sp.Ka., 46. 

16. See above pp. 63-4. 

17. Sp.Ka., 28-30. 

18. Sp.Pra., p. 88. 

19. Sp.Nir., p. 49 and Jayadeva Singh's translation pp. 119-20. 

20. Sp.Nir., p. 44. 

21. Sp.Ka., 32. 

22. Sp.Nir., p. 52. 

23. S.Sii., 2/6. 

24. See Ksemaraja's commentary on §.Su., 2/6. 

25. Ksemaraja says that the Supreme Goddess, the power of grace and 
the Master are equal. He quotes the Malinlvijay at antra as saying: "That [power 
of grace] is called the Wheel of Energies said to be the Master's mouth" and the 
Tantra of the Three-headed Bhairava which says: "Higher than the Master is 
[his] power which resides in his mouth." 

26., p. 35. 

27. Sp.Ka., 52. 

28. Ibid., 44. 

29. T.A., 1/253. 

30. Ibid., 1/256. 

31. Ibid., 1/234-5. 

32. Sp.Nir., p. 52. 

33. 'YuktV is a term which, in these works, means a number of things 
including 'reason', 'expedient', 'means', and in a more technical sense, a knowledge 
of the means to self-realisation. Thus the Vijnanabhairava teaches 112 such 
means. Ksemaraja explains that "the word 'yukti' indicates there [in the 
Vijnanabhairava] the knowledge of the 112 planes of yoga [taught therein].", p. 121. For the usage of this term in this technical sense see V.B., v. 148. 

256 Notes 

Note also the names of two works quoted in Bhagavatotpala's commentary 
on the Stanzas, namely, Tattvayukti and Kulayukti. 

34. Kiranagama 1/9, 13b quoted in T.A., 4/41, 4/78, 13/ 162b. The 
Nisacarat antra says the same; see T.A., 4/78. 

35. T.A., 4/77b-8a. 

36. Sp.Pra., p. 84. 

37. Ibid., p. 83. 

38. Ibid., p. 84. 

39. M.M., p. 6. 

40. Sp.Nir., pp. 16-7: yuktyanubhavagamajno rahasyagurupravarah. 

41. Sp.Nir., p. 2. 

42. Sp.Ka., 42. Abhinava similarly says: "How can [the experience of] 
that which is our own consciousness be ever set to writing?" T.A., 29/ 126a. 

43. Bh.G., 12/2, quoted in Sp.Nir., p. 49. 

44. Sp.Pra., p. 115. 

45., p. 64. 

46., p. 70. 

47. Sp.Nir., p. 33. 

48. Ibid., p. 35. 

49., p. 55. 

50. Sp.Nir., p. 49. Abhinava also says: 

The wise sever the very root of this tree of harmful multiplicity, so 
hard to fell (durbhedd), with the axe of sound reasoning: such is our 
conviction. This [reasoning] the awakened call the contemplative 
actualisation of Being (bhavana), the wish-granting cow which renders 
evident even that which is beyond the sphere of desire. 
T. A., 4/13-4. 

51. Ibid., 4/15-6. 

52. Ibid., 4/39-40. 

53. Sp.Ka. vrtti, p. 31. 

54. Sp.Nir., p. 16. 

55. Ibid., p. 29 with reference to Sp.Ka., 12-13. 15. 

56. T.A., 1/245. cf. T.A., 2/4: "The four-fold emergent (udita) nature of 
the All-pervasive Lord's consciousness should be known to be one's own nature 
itself, the eternally manifest (nityodita) Lord." 

57. T.A., v. I, pp. 52-3. See above p. 12. 

58. See above p. 12. 

59. Good examples are the practices taught in the Vijnanabhairava, a text 
which certainly pre-dates Abhinava. Ksemaraja, and later Sivopadhyaya, 
both indicate to which of these categories the practices taught in it belong. 

60. We shall discuss the relation between the Stanzas on Vibration and 
the Sivasutra in the companion volume of this work. 

61. The nomenclature of the division into chapters in Sanskrit works in 
general is very varied and particularly well illustrated in the Tantras and related 
literature. Thus "there are Paricchedas "Sections", Prakasas "Rays", Ullasas 

Notes 257 

"Illuminations", Tarangas "Waves'*, and many others. A popular principle is 
that of adapting the term for "chapter" to the title of the whole work. Thus the 
Mantraratnakara and Mantramahodadhi, two "Oceans of Mantras" are 
divided into "Waves", the Sivarcanacandrika "Moonlight of Siva Worship" 
into "Rays" the Saubhagyakalpadruma "Fabulous Tree of Delight" into 
'Skandha\ "Branches"; the Bhuvane&varikalpalata "Wish-granting Creeper of 
Bhuvanesvari" into 'Stabakas '—Bunches of Flowers." Teun Goudriaan and 
Sanjukta Gupta, Hindu Tantric and Sakta Literature, A History of Indian 
Literature, edited by J. Gonda, vol. 2 fasc. 20 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 
1981), p. 31. 

62. See footnote 64 below. 

63. T. A., 4/273. 

64. We have said that there are four types of means to realisation. Although 
this is quite true from one point of view, the fourth and ultimate means is not 
one in the same sense as are the others. Considered to be the highest form of 
the Divine means (sambhavopaya, for which see below), it is the end of all practice 
and is accordingly called 'No-means' (anupaya). It is the uninterrupted con- 
sciousness the absolute has of its own nature (T.A., 2/1) spontaneously and 
completely realised in an instant. Thus 'Anupaya' is the means (upaya) that 
concerns the absolute (anuttara) directly. This means is very important in 
Abhinavagupta's Trika which aims primarily at the realisation of Anuttara. 
The reader is referred to P.T.V., pp. 81-4 for the meanings Abhinava attributes 
to this term (see also Gnoli's translation, pp. 49-50). Abhinava does not quote 
scripture to define this Means. Possibly Abhinava intends to imply in this way 
that, insofar as no practice is involved here, it is essentially undefinable. For 
the same reason it is sometimes not counted amongst the means to realisation 
which are thus reduced to three. 

65. According to Abhinava the word 'guruna' can mean either 4 by the 
Master' or intense'. We have put the former meaning in brackets because what 
is essential at this level of practice is that consciousness be intensely alert; it 
does not matter whether this takes place spontaneously or is induced. 

66. T.A., 1/168-70 quoted from M.V., 2/21-3. 

67. T.A., l/178b-9a. 

68. Ibid., 1/91. 

69. Ibid., 1/241-3. 

70. Ibid., l/180b-la. 

71. Ibid., l/182b-3a. 

72. ibid., 1/ 144b, 1/165. 

73. Ibid., 1/245. 

74. Ibid., 1/166. 

75. Ibid., 1/143 and comm. 

76. Ibid., 1/140. 

77. Ibid., 2/4-6. 

78. Ibid., 2/1. 

79. Paficast., vol. 3, p. 2. s 

80. T.A., 1/145. 

258 Notes 

81. Ibid., 2/38. 

82. Ibid., 2/9. 

83. Ibid., 2/11. 

84. Ibid., 2/ 14. 

85. Ibid., 2/ 19. 

86. Ibid., 2/28. 

87. Ibid., 2/24-6. 

88. Anuttara$fika, v. 1-3. 

89. T.A., 1/242. 

90. Ibid., 2/2. 

91. Seecomm. to T.A., 2/2. 

92. Ratnamala quoted in M.M., p. 166. 

93. T.A., 2/40. 

94. T.A., comm. 2/2. The passage quoted here by Jayaratha is probably 
from the Siddhayogesvarimata which Abhinava tells us teaches the way of 
Anupaya called, in this passage, Nirupaya. Cf. T.A., comm. 2/40. 

95. Sp.Sam., p. 25. 

96. S.Dr., 7/5b-6; cf. ibid., 7/ 100b and T.A., 2/47. 

97. We shall discuss this point more extensively in the companion volume 
of translations from the Spanda tradition. 

98. Sp.Nir., pp. 25-6. 

99. T.A., comm. 1/226: evam ca nirvikalpatma parah prakasa eva sarvesam 
esam upayah. 

100. T.A., 1/246-7. 

101. Ibid., 1/212. 

102. SpJCa., 36-7. 

103. T.A., 3/108. 

104. Sp.Pra., p. 84. 

105. Sp.Ka., 22. 

106. Ibid., 33-5 and Kallaja's vrtti. 

107. Ibid., 41. See also above p. 153. 

108. P.T.V., p. 106. 

109. M.V.V., 1/418. 

110. I.P.v., comm. 1/5/11. 

111. Sp.Pra., p. 46. 

112. I.P., 3/l/3a. 

113. Sp.Sam., p. 6. 

114. T.A., 4/182b-3. 

115. Ibid., l/84b-6a. 

116. Ibid., 1/87-8. 

117. Pr.Hr., su. 17. 

118. M.V.V., 2/20b: jagadanandamayo 'sau samanyaspanda ityuktah. 

119. The concept of a 'super ego' (ahambhava) is unique to the Kashmiri 
Saiva schools and those influenced by them. It has virtually no precedents, 
even in the Saivagama. The development of this important insight goes to the 
credit of the Pratyabhijna theologians, particularly Utpaladeva and Abhinava- 

Notes 239 

gupta. It is therefore absent in the Stanzas on Vibration which predate them. 
We shall deal with this important point in the companion volume to this work. 

120. Y.Hr., comm. 1/35. 

121. T.A., 3/111. 

122. Sv.T., I., p. 56: asesaviSvasamarasyavedanatma. 

123. K.K.V., v. 5. 

124. T.Sa., pp. 14-5. The word 'praveksyati '(here translated 'penetrates into') 
is presumably derived from the root 'vis' in the sense of 'entering'. The third 
person singular should be 'pravesati'. 

125. T.A., 3/125; K.K.V., v. 7. 

126. Ibid., 3/205b-8a. 

127. Ibid., 3/283-5. 

128. Sp.Ka., 51; Pr.Hr., su. 20. 

129. Commenting on S.Su., 3/4, which belongs to the section of the sutras 
that Ksemaraja explains deals with the Individual Means, he says: 

[The Individual Means] is gross, it is therefore not included in the 
Doctrine of Vibration (spandasastra) which is concerned with explaining 
the Empowered Means. However, when dealing here [with any practice] 
that ultimately culminates in the Empowered and other Means we have 
corroborated [what we have said] with the Stanzas on Vibration and 
shall to a certain extent, continue to do so., p. 38. 

130. T.A., 1/202-4. 

131. Ibid. 1/206. 

132. Ibid. 1/217-8. 

133. Sp.Ka., 46. The reader is referred to the introductory discussion at 
the beginning of this chapter. 

134. M.V., 2/22. 

135. I.P., 1/6/3-5; P. S., comm. v. 2; T. A., comm. 4/ 175; ibid., vol. 2, p. 199. 

136. Sp.Pra., p. 105. 

137. I.P.V.V., II, p. 15. 

138. T.A., 10/200. 

139. P.S., comm. v. 42. 

140. T.A., 14/43. 

141. T.A., 14/11 lb-3a; ibid., 5/2. 

142. M.V.V., l/988b-90;T.A., 10/201-3. 

143. T.Sa., p. 23. 

144. T.A., 5/5a. 

145. T.A., 7/30b-2a. 

146. I.P., 1/5/20. 

147. I.P.V.V., I, p. 118. 

148. Ibid., p. 246. 

149. Y.Hr., p. 78. 

150. T.Sa., pp. 22-3. 

151. Sarnvitprakasa quoted in M.M., p. 25. 

260 Notes 

152. T.A., 12/ 18b-21a. The context here is ritual. He who offers to the 
deity obnoxious substances or those normally considered improper must try 
to do so with his mind free of doubts and aversion. 

153. T.A., 5/5. 

154. Ibid., 15/269b-72. 

155. Ibid., 4/2-5. 

156. Ibid., 4/84. 

157. Ibid., 4/203. 

158. Ibid., 4/1 16b-7a. 

159. Ibid., 4/120b-la. 

160. Ibid., 4/181b-2a. 

161. Ibid., 4/194. 

162. Ibid., 4/195-9. 

163. Ibid., 4/200. 

164. Ibid., 4/201-2. 

165. Ibid., 4/205-9a. 

166. M.V., 18/78-80 quoted in T.A., 4/218-20. 

167. Ibid., 4/ 240- la. 

168. Ibid., 4/244. 

169. Ibid., 4/243b-4a. 

170. S.Dr., 3/68-70. 

171. M.V.V., 1/1112. 

172. T.A., 13/42. 

173. P.S., p. 73. 

174. Sp.Pra., p. 88. 

175. T.Sa. quoted in P.S., comm. v. 33. 

176. I.P., v. II, p. 129. 

177. Sp^ra., p. 88. 

178. T.A., comm. 10/118. 

179. Sp.Ka., 8. 

180. Ibid., 3. 

181., p. 38: saktopayaprakasatmani spandasastre. Ksemaraja 
lays great stress on the importance of contemplation and mastery of the Wheel 
of Energies. As a result he affirms that Spanda practice belongs predominantly 
to the Empowered Means. The energies are aspects of the freedom of conscious- 
ness which Ksemaraja identifies with the supreme goddess of the Krama school. 
Her Wheel is that of the twelve Kalis who represent phases in the cognitive cycle 
(described above on p. 124). Abhinava gives pride of piace to the contemplation 
of this Wheel in his treatment of the Empowered Means in the Tantraloka 
(verses 4/ 122b- 18 la). Thus Ksemaraja concludes his exposition of the Aphorism 
which declares that "when the Wheel of Energies is fused into one there follows 
universal destruction" (S.Su., 1/6) by stating that this practice belongs to the 
Empowered Means and is also taught in the first and the last verses of the Stanzas 
on Vibration (, p. 10). Ksemaraja maintains that because these verses 
refer to the Wheel of Energies the Doctrine of Vibration includes the esoteric 
teaching of the Krama school. Thus Ksemaraja says that: 

Notes 261 

"In this way the venerable Vasugupta indicates how, through the 
introduction and conclusion [of the Stanzas, the Spanda teachings] 
embrace Krama doctrine (mahartha), and so reveals that this [Spanda], 
doctrine (sastra) is supreme amongst all secret Saiva doctrine because 
it is the essence of [Krama]." (Sp.Nir., p. 74). 

182. Sp.Ka., 21. 

183. S.SG., 9;, p. 11; see fn. 1 above. 

184. Sp.Ka., 35. 

185. Sp.Pra., p. 112. 

186. I.P., 1/5/13-4. 

187. SpJPra., pp. 120-1. 

188. T.A., 11/66; Sp.Nir., p. 71. 

189. Sp.Pra., p. 113. 

190. Sp.Nir., p. 71. 

191. T.A., ll/68b-9. 

192. Ibid., 11/73-5. 

193. Sv.T., comm. 11/199. 

194. T.A., 3/198. 

195. Ibid., 15/130b-la. 

196. See above p. 103. 

197. The anonymous author of the Sanskrit notes on the writes: 

Inferior and superior knowledge correspond to the perception of 
division and the manifestation of unity, respectively. The power 
matrka is the mother of the universe who sustains and presides over 
them both. [When giving rise to the] superior knowledge [of ultimate 
reality] she is the power called Aghora because she makes manifest 
both the inner reality [of undifferentiated consciousness] and the 
outer reality [of the All] as her own nature. Inferior [knowledge is the 
domain of the aspect of matrka] called the power Ghora who directs 
the consciousness [of the fettered soul] out of itself when it fails to 
reflect upon the unity of reality and so obscures its Siva-nature. 
(Ibid., fn. 9 pp. 8-9). 

198. Sp.Ka., 45. 

199. Ibid., 47. 

200. V.M., p. 3: pUhastu matrka prokta. 

201. Sv.T., I, p. 29. See also Jaideva Singh, The Divine Creative Pulsation, 
p. 158; also Sp.Nir., pp. 66-9 on Sp.Ka., 45. 

202. P.T.V., p. 44. 

203., p. 8. 

204. P.T.V., pp. 43-4. 

205. T.A., 5/140-1. 

206. T.A., II, p. 214: mananan sarvavettrtvam tranam samsaryanugrahah. 

207. M.M., p. 122. 

208. M.M., v. 49. 

262 Notes 

209., p. 82. 

210. I.P.V.V., II, pp. 213-4. 

211. M.M., p. 122. 

212. T.A., II, p. 450. 

213. "The functions of an externally directed Mantra are said to be its 
powers when it is introverted." T.A., II, p. 47. 

214. Y.Hr., p. 180. 

215. T.A., 7/3b-5a. 

216. Ibid., IV, p. 2. 

217. Ibid., 4/182b-3. 

218. P.T.V., p. 4. 

219. Sp.Nir., p. 66. 

220. "O beloved, the Mantras whose seed phonemic powers (bija) lie 
dormant will bear no fruit, while those mantras which are filled with consciousness 
are said to accomplish all things." K.A., 15/60. 

221. Srikanfhiyasamhita quoted in, p. 24. 

222., p. 81. 

223. Sritantrasadbhava quoted in, p. 23. 

224. Pr.Hr., p. 93. 

225. Sv.T., VI, p. 40. 

226. Sp.Nir., p. 45. 

227. Ibid. 

228., p. 80. 

229. Ibid., pp. 83-4. 

230. T.A., 11/86-9. 

231., fn. 1, pp. 29-30. 

232. T.A., III, p. 1. 

233. The Stotrabhaffaraka quoted in M.M., p. 112. 

234. T.A., 11/76. 

235. Ibid., comm. 11/77. 

236., pp. 83-4. 

237. Sp.Ka., 26-7. 

238., fn. 1, p. 30. 

239., pp. 83-4. 

240., p. 38. 

241 . We shall have occasion to discuss the relationship between the Sivasutra 
and the Spandakarika in our companion volume of Translations. Suffice it to say 
here that even though all commentators connect the two texts in various ways, 
their relationship is far from clear. Bhaskara thinks that the Stanzas are a part 
of a commentary on the Aphorisms (, p. 3). Bhagavatotpala consistently 
refers to the Stanzas as a synopsis (samgrahagranthd) by Kallajabhafta of the 
essential teachings of the Aphorisms (Sp.Pra., p. 83). Ksemaraja similarly says 
in a number of places that the Stanzas convey the secrets of the Aphorisms 
(Sp.Nir., p. 2). At the same time, however, commentators think of the Stanzas 
as representing a 'separate system' (svatantradarsana) (Sp.Pra., p. 87) or what 
Rajanaka Rama calls the philosophy of Spanda' (Spandasiddhanta) (, 

Notes 263 

p. 12). Ksemaraja, it seems, also implies this when he refers to the Stanzas ai 
'Spanda&astra'iiwt understand 'iastra* in its broadest sense to mean 'a school of 
thought' rather than just a 'book' (, p. 38;Sp.Nir.,p. 1). It seems, therefore, 
that although the Stanzas and Aphorisms are closely related, the former marks 
the emergence of a distinct school, whereas the latter, although serving as the 
principle source of the Stanzas, does not belong to any particular school. This 
hypothesis is supported by the striking absence in the Aphorisms of a number 
of the fundamental terms and concepts in the Stanzas. A prime example is 
the term Spanda itself, and the teachings concerning the experience of Spanda 
in the first moment of perception when consciousness is in a state of propensity 
(aunmukhya) to manifestation (see above pp. 92-95). 

242., pp. 35-6. 

243. S.Su., 1/1: caitanyam atma. 

244. Ibid., 3/1: cittam atma. 

245. Sp.Ka., 49-50a. 

246. T.A., comm. 13/188. 

247. cittam mantrah: 'the mind is Mantra' (S.Su., 2/1). BhSskara, 
commenting on this Aphorism, says: "One should know the mind itself to be 
Siva, the subject free of all limitations, endowed with omniscience and every 
other divine attribute. Free of the differentiation (kalana) of time and space, 
its inalienable quality is the experience of its own identity and so, as such, is 
said to be Mantra.", p. 30. 

248. Ibid., p. 42. 

249. Abhinava writes: 

This Supreme and authentic reality shines also in this, the unreal subject, 
immersed in the intellect, vital breath and the body because the vital 
breath and the rest are not independent of the Light which is pure 
consciousness alone (cinmatra). 
T.A., 5/7-8a. 

250. Ibid., 1/164. 

251., pp. 38, 41. 

252. Abhinava writes: 

[The state of] individualised consciousness (anu) coincides with the 
most fully evident manifestation of multiplicity (bheda). The Means 
proper to it is therefore called 'Individual'. It consists of representations 
and ascertainments of a discursive order [which culminate] ultimately 
in [a pure] undifferentiated awareness. 
T.A., 1/221. 

253., p. 8. 

254. Ibid., p. 9. 

255. Ibid., p. 22. 

256. S.Su., 1/20 and 3/5; 1/7 and 3/20. 

257., p. 40. 

258. S.Su., 2/2. 

264 Notes 

259., p. 35. 

260. Ibid., p. 24. 

261. Ibid., p. 50. 

262. Ibid., p. 12. 

263. Sivopadhyaya, like Ksemaraja, understands the liberated state as 
one of permanent contemplation (nityasamadhi). Those who achieve it are 
never again disturbed by the emergence of the ego (V.B., p. 64). Taking the 
Vakyasudha, a lost work on Yoga, as his authority, Sivopadhyaya outlines 
the six types of contemplation (samadhi) which lead to it. Sivopadhyaya 
defines contemplation (samadhi) as 'the subtle state of the mind engendered 
by its undivided, non-dual nature' (ibid., p. 99). The first degree of contemplation 
is discursive (savikalpa) and associated with visible objectivity (dfsyasampfkta- 
samadhi). It is developed by attending to the movement of the mind in moments 
of intense excitement or passion. As the Vakyasudha says: "One should 
contemplate the mind as the witness of passion, etc., capable of being such 
because it has taken on their likeness." The second degree of contemplation 
is also discursive but associated this time with the Word (sabda) of consciousness. 
This state is "pure being, consciousness and bliss. Self-illuminating, free of 
duality and worldly ties it is pervaded by the Word *I am'". The third degree 
of contemplation is free of thought-constructs. Unlike the previous level of 
contemplation, which can only be attained with much effort, this one dawns 
spontaneously when the other two have been achieved. Free of discursivity 
and objects of perception it is tranquil and steady like the flame of a lamp set 
in a windless place. The yogi who is absorbed in it relishes the aesthetic delight 
(rasa) of the glorious powers of his authentic nature. To these three levels 
correspond three others which are their fruits. Thus the first degree of contem- 
plation frees the yogi from his attachment to name and form and so he participates 
in the transcendental freedom of his universal consciousness even while he views 
the world and acts in it. To the second degree of contemplation corresponds 
the uninterrupted reflection (cinta) of the undivided and unique aesthetic 
delight (akhantfaikarasa) of being, consciousness and bliss. The next degree 
of contemplation develops when the mind resumes its original absolute (brahman) 
nature and savours the aesthetic delight which results from the cessation of 
thought-constructs. The highest level of contemplation is permanent and 
effortless. It consists of the direct vision (saksatkara) of reality attained when 
the six degrees of contemplation have matured to perfection. Liberated from 
all identification with the body, the yogi realises his Supreme Identity (para- 
matmari) and so passes freely from one form of contemplation to the other 
wherever the mind may happen to wander (V.B., pp. 100-*1). 

264. S.SG., 2/ 10. 

265., p. 35. 

266. Ibid., p. 46. 

267. Jaideva Singh writes: 

Such a high state of realisation is not possible by Anavopaya. It is 
only possible by Saktopaya. But Anavopaya is only a stepping stone 

Notes 265 

to Saktopaya . It is not an end in itself. It has to end in Saktopaya. 
(The Yoga of Supreme Identity, p. 150) 

Ksemaraja also says that "even the Individual Means culminates in the Empower- 
ed.", p. 41. 

268. Y.Su., 1/2. 

269. T.A., 1/150-1 and comm. 

270. Sv.T., 4/22 quoted also in N.T.U., I, p. 180. 

271. T.A., I, p. 190. 

272. Y.Su., 2/30. 

273. Ibid., 2/32. 

274. Ibid., 2/46. 

275. Ibid., 2/49. 

276. Ibid., 2/54. 

277. Ibid., 3/1. 

278. Ibid., 3/2. 

279., p. 41. Ksemaraja, like other Kashmiri Saivites, knew 
Patanjali's system well. He was aware that it also distinguished between minor 
yogic attainments and the higher realisation which they obstruct. Thus he 
quotes the Aphorisms of Yoga as saying: "The obstacles which arise in the 
course of contemplation are the yogic attainments (siddhi) gained when one 
emerges from it." (Y.Su., 3/37 quoted in, p. 28) He connects this 
with stanza 42 of the Stanzas on Vibration which says: 

Shortly after, from that [expansion of consciousness] arises the 
Point (bindu), from that Sound (nada), from that Form (rupa) and 
from that Taste (rasa) which disturb the embodied soul. 

The Point, etc., represent visions of light, sound, form and taste, respectively. 

280. N.T.U., I., p. 181. 

281. N.T., 8/6-8a. 

282., p. 38. 

283. S.Su., 3/4. 

284. V.B., v. 56. 

285. T.A., 8/4. 

286. Ibid., 8/7-8. 

287. Ibid. 3/262-4; ibid. 3/286; M.V.V., 1/1091. 

288. V.B., v. 52. 

289. T.A., 8/20b-4a. 

290. Ibid., 6/140b-2a. 

291., p. 39. 

292. This account is based on NT., 8/11-18 and Sv.T., 7/294-300, which 
are Ksemaraja's sources. Although the N.T. gives the full complement of 
eight limbs, Ksemaraja eliminates the first two, thus reducing the limbs to six. 
N.T., 8/ 10 defines the missing two as follows: 

The supreme and permanent form of restraint (yama) is said to be 
dispassion from profane existence (samsara), while the [inherent] 

266 Notes 

eternal, discipline (niyama) is contemplation (bhavana) of the 
Supreme Principle. 

293. T.A., 4/89-91. 

294. Sv.T., 7/299b-300a quoted in, p. 39. 

295. Samadhi, which literally means 'gathering together [of the faculties] \ 
is here made to derive from the words 'samana, meaning equal 1 , and 'dhi\ 
meaning 'intellect* or 'awareness'. 

296. T.A., 10/185; ibid., 10/309; M.V., 2/34b-5a. 

297. M.M., p. 156. 

298., p. 11: svasvarupaikaghanatavimarsas turyabhuh smrta. 

299. Sp^ir., p. 13; P.S., p. 74-81. 

300. T.A., 10/266. 

301. Ibid., 10/271. 

302. Ibid., 10/268-9. 

303. Pr.Hr., pp. 46-7. 

304. T.A., 10/273-4. 

305., p. 12. 

306. Ibid., p. 53. 

307. Sv.T., 7/250. 

308., pp. 41-2. 

309. Abhinava writes: 

Beyond the subject stands the pure awareness (prama) which, no 
longer detached, is intent on becoming full and perfect. That is said 
to be the Fourth State, considered to be penetration into the power 
[of consciousness] (saktisamavesa). 
T.A., 10/264b-5b. 

310., p. 52. 

311. Ibid. 

312. Ibid., p. 50. 

313. V.B., v. 138. 

314. S.Su., 3/23; cf. ibid., 2/10. 

315., p. 51. 

316. Kallatabhatta is frequently quoted as saying in one of his lost works 
"the vital breath is the first transformation of consciousness" — prak samvit 
prane parinata. 

317., p. 53. 

318. Ibid. 

319. S.Su., 3/34. 

320., p. 61. 

321. V.B., v. 69-76 and comm. 

322. See above p. 93. 

323., p. 64. 

324. Ibid., pp. 64-5. 

325. N.T., 8/8 quoted in, p. 66. 

326. S.Su., 3/42. 

327., p. 69. 



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Vijnanabhairava with commentaries by Ksemaraja (incomplete) and A'vo- 
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Sivastotravali by Utpaladeva. With commentary by Ksemaraja. Edited with 
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Samkhyakarika by Isvarakrsna with fippani, Gaudapadabhasya and Hindi 
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Sambapancasika edited with Hindi translation and notes by Swami Laksmanjoo. 
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Siddhitrayi by Utpaladeva. This consists of three works: Ajadapramatrsiddhi, 
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Stavacintamani by NarayanabhaHa with commentary by Ksemaraja. K.S.T.S., 
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. English translation called The Divine Creative Pulsation by Jaideva 

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Spandapradipika by Bhagavatotpala. Published in the Tantrasamgraha 
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. Edited by Vamana Sastri. Publishers not known. Islamapurkara, 1898. 

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Anuttaraparapancasika by Nagananda (alias Adyananda). Six MSs of this 

Bibliography 275 

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Jnanagarbhastotra by Narayanamuni. B.H.U., ace. no. B 900, s. no. 17/8528, 
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Tantroccaya by Abhinavagupta. B.H.U., ace. no. C 1020, s. no. 14/7634, 
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Niruttaravada B.H.U., cat. no. 14/7674, MS. no. C-4720, 35 fol. Sarada 

Nirvanayogottara B.H.U., ace. no. C-4246, s. no. 14/7675 Sarada, 8 fol. 

Netroddyotavivararia by Kalyana Yarma. B.H.U., ace. no. C-4394, s. no. 14/7679 
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Bhedavilasa B.H.U. , cat. no. 14/7755 MS no. C-1533 114 fol. Devanagari 

Madhyavikasa, B.H.U., cat. no. 14/7759 MS. no. C-4393 98 fol. Sarada 

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Stavacintamani by Narayanabhatta with a commentary by Rama (Rajanaka 
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Svarupaprakaiika by Nagananda with comm. by Cidananda Government 
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A, first letter of Ahatp, 186-88 

Abhasa, Pratyabhijna conception of, 
25. See also Appearance and 

Abhava, 121. See also Non-being 

Abhidharma, 1 

Abhinavagupta, father of, 224; his life 
and works, 10-14; and Trika 

Abode, supreme, 159 

Absolute, 34, 90, 113, 114, 127, 177, 
193, 202, 257; as A, 186; bliss of, 
1 1 6; concept of, 24, 38; cosmic play 
of, 188; experience of, 161; and 
finite, 24, 40; integral nature of, 
38#; as Light and pulsation, 63- 
64; power of, 40-41; void of, 126; 
wheel of (anuttaracakra), 124, 125 

Absorption, empowered (sakta), 201; 
introverted and extroverted, 157- 
58; mystical (samdvesa), three 
types of, 172. See also Contem- 

Action, 89, 91, 137; inner and outer 
forms of, 98, 1 52; relation to know- 
ledge, 72, 80; limited, 137; limited 
power of, 150; organs of, 138; 
power of, 80, 90, 97-98, 108, 166, 
173, 175, 176, 177, 181; power of, 

applied to yoga, 206; power of, as 
bindu, 186, 188; power of, con- 
tracted by thought-constructs, 
190; temporal and eternal, 82-83; 
as vimarsa, 72, 113 

Aesthetic experience, 148-50 

Agama, types of, 4-9, 232 

Agency, 90,98, 154, 164 

Agent, 27, 98, 141 

Aghora, 261. See also Benevolent 

Agitation (ksobha), stilling of, 201 

Aharji, 198; as Mantra, 202; symbolism 
and activity of, 185-88. See also 
T-Consciousness; Ego; Egoity 

Aisvarya, 122. See also Sovereignty 

All-Things (sarvdrtha), 215 

Alphabet, Sanskrit, 124 

Amardaka, 5, 18, 229 

Amba, 11 

Andkhya. See Undefinable 

Andmakatantra, 12 

Anandabhairava, 145 

Anandabhairavi, 145 

Anandavardhana, 10 

Ananta, 133, 211 

Anavamala. See Impurity 

Antahkarana, 108 

Antararthavdda, 46 

Anupaya, 160, 173, 175-80, 206, 257; as 
fruit of Kramamudrd; two levels 



of, 178 

Anusvara, 186 

Anuttaraprakriya, 225 

Anuttaratrika, 227 

Anuttaratrikakula, 12, 225 

Aphorisms, practices taught in, 204-5; 
terms Prakasa and Vimarsa absent 
in, 59; as presenting Saiva secret 
doctrine, 231; relation to Stanzas 
on Vibration, 204, 262-63 

Appearance (abhasa), reality of, 25, 36- 
37. See also Manifestation 

Ascent, 89 

Asoka, 3, 222 

Astonishment (camatkdra), 55; attitude 
of {yismayamudra), 179. See also 

Atimarga, 9, 14 

Atmalabha. See Self-realisation 

Atman. See Self 

Atmavadins, 2$2 

Attachment (raga\ 156; power of, 131 

Attention, focusing of (dhararia), 209, 
212-3; attention (avadhana) to 
higher reality, 208; to Spanda, 195 

Attribute, divine, of Siva, 1 12 

Aunmukhya. See Intent 

Avantivarman, 21 

Awakened (prabuddha), 132, 167, 169, 
170; fit for the teachings, 163; fully 
(suprabuddha\ 108, 116, 126, 
132, 146 

Awareness, cognitive (prama, pramiti), 
124, 176, 186, 197, 198, 214; main- 
tenance of; 94, 216; as power of 
Mantras, 202; moments of, 181. 
See also Vimarsa 


Bandhudatta, 2 
Bathing (snana), inner, 193 
Becoming, relation to Being, 72, 77, 78 
Being, 51, 52, 110, 120, 140, 203; activ- 

ity of, 97; relation to Becoming, 72, 
77-80, 152; as consciousness, 43, 
154; as functional capacity (artha- 
kriya), 1 1 1 ; as manifestation, 52; 
relation to non-being, 121; oneness 
with, 157; own fundamental state 
of (svasthiti), 164; as one's own 
innate nature, 165; phenomen- 
ology of, 52-53; as radiance, 196; 
realisation of, 94, 191; as the 
sacred, 139; self-revealing char- 
acter of, 90-91; summit of, 1 13; as 
supreme universal, 190 

Benevolent powers (aghora), 113, 114 

Beyond-Form (rupatita), 215-16 

Beyond-the-Fourth (turiyatita\ 206, 
207; relation to the Fourth state 
(turiya\ 213, 215 

Bhagavatotpala, 22, 25, 27, 221, 222, 

Bhairava, 117, 128, 149, 155, 156, 157, 
211; as Aharn, 188; character of, 
7-8; Churning (manthanabhair- 
ava) y 126; cult of, in Kashmir, 15; 
relation to His emission (visarga\ 
100; etymology of the name, 7, 223; 
identification with, 125, 168, 189, 
193; in Kashmiri Saiva texts, 46, 
103; as Light, 61, 118, 143, 146; 
mythical origin of, 224; realisation 
of, 206; wonder of, 61 

Bhairavatantras, 7-8, 11, 226, 227; 
followers of, in Kashmir, 14; place 
in Kashmiri Saivism, 14 

Bhairavakulatantra, 227 

Bhairavi, 143 

Bhairavimudra, 158-59; relation to 
Kramamudra, 161 

BhaUananda, 233 

Bhaskara, 21, 232, 262, 263 

Bheda. See Distinction, relative; 
Diversity; Division; Multiplicity 

Bhoktrtva. See Subjectivity, enjoying 

Bhucari, 127,131 

Bhutasuddhi. See Elements, purifica- 
tion of 



Bhutatantras, 6, 223 

Bindu, 102; as final letter of Ahar\\, 
186, 188 

Bliss, 161, 178, 179, 180, 213, 214, 251; 
through aesthetic experience, 148; 
through awareness of the Centre, 
185; cosmic (Jagadananda), 50, 
185; as cosmic consciousness, 127; 
emergence of, 143; as illuminating 
realisation, 62; innate, 155, 206; 
inner, 154, 175; as Kula, 224; 
nectar of, 141; as oneness of being 
and consciousness, 43; as oneness 
with consciousness, 157; as pleas- 
ure, 147-48; power of, 91, 160, 
173, 176, 177; as rest, 146; as 
Spanda, 90, 116 

Body, cosmic, 140, 141, 143, 218; as 
cremation ground, 144; divine 
(divyadeha), 138, 141; empowered 
(saktadeha), 141; as Kula, 224; 
postures of, 172, 173; supreme 
(paradeha), 141; as temple and 
microcosm, 140; worship of, 141 

Bondage, 123, 128, 130, 135, 140, 177; 
and liberation, 17-18, 114, 195; 
nature of, 139, 194, 195, 255 

Brahma, beheading of, 224 

Brahman, 264; abode of, 1 19, 150; con- 
cept of, 33-38; as ground of world- 
appearances, 36; not object of 
devotion, 106; uniqueness as 
source and end of all things, 86 

Brahmi, 127, 145 

Brahmandapurana, 228 

Breath, 145, 218; attention to, 212; 
cleansing of, 212; emergence of, 
216, 266, flow of, 208; regulation 
of, 209, 212; suspension of, 182, 
216; upward flowing (udana- 
prana), 21 1 

Buddhabhadra, 2 

Buddhasena, 2 

Buddhists, 121, in Kashmir, 1-3; refuted 
by Sadyojyoti, 230 

Biihler, G.,222, 231 

Cakra. See Wheels 

Cakrabhanu, 16 

Camatkara, See Astonishment; 

Camuntfa, 145 

Canon, Saiva, 222, 223 

Carvana. See Relishing 

Categories (tattva), 95, 165, 185; chain 
of, 88; pure and impure, 166 

Causality, types of, 87-88 

Centering, 182 

Central Channel {su?umna\ 208, 
211, 212 

Centre, 129, 145, 248; between breaths, 
21 1; between expansion and con- 
traction, 157; between thoughts, 
119; Lord of, 158; power in, 184; 
psychic in the body, 212-13; source 
of thought, 153 

Certainty (niscaya), 192 

Change, 123; as alteration of power, 
1 1 1-112; as conscious action, 80; 
freedom from, 164; none in con- 
sciousness, 83; unreal according 
to Advaita Vedanta, 36; real and 
apparent, 25, 87-88 

Channel, Central (su$umna), 208, 
211, 212 

Chapters, names of, in Sanskrit works, 

Chatterjee, J.C., 18, 222, 225, 229, 231 

Churning, 126 

Circle, lord of, 144 

Citrabrahmavadins, 232 

Cognition, creativity of, 96-97; encom- 
passes diversity, 51; process of, 96- 
97; as reflective awareness, 7 1 

Concealment, 85 

Consciousness, 125; absolute, as the 
goal. 179; activity of, 45, 49, 185; 
attributes of, 130; as Being, 154; 
body of, 122, 141; concept of, 43- 
44; condensation of, 50; contains 
and is everything, 46-48; contrac- 



tion of, 156, 164-65; creativity of, 
44-5, 89; cycle of, 125, 173; deities 
of, 127, 157; as Deity, 44-45, 105; 
embodied, 146; emptiness of, 118; 
expanded and contracted levels of, 
150; expanded state of, 130, 164; 
expansion of, 95, 153, 164, 167; fire 
of, 142, 144, 189, 193, 203; formless 
and omniform, 65-66; introverted 
and extroverted, 83; Heart of, 144, 
155; as Kula, 224; ladder of, 140; 
Lord of, 119, 132; mass of, 120; 
mirror-like, 66-68; one and 
diverse, 66ff.\ perceptive (upalab- 
dhrta), 182; pure, 175, 194; as the 
Self, 204; self-luminosity of, 64; 
sky of, 1 18, 120, 126, 130, 159, 160; 
states of, 93, 95, 113, 161, 169,207, 
213, 214; as subject, object and 
means of knowledge, 63-64; as sub- 
stratum and supported, 48; 
thought-constructs in relation to, 
190, 191; as ultimate reality, 43-45 

Contemplation (samadhi), 30, 122, 209, 
213, 214, 266; definition and six 
levels of, 264; rising from, 122, 127, 
160; with eyes open and closed, 
127, 156-58, 160, 167, 178, 185. See 
also Absorption 

Contraction, 118; caused by thought- 
constructs, 190; one with con- 
sciousness, 255; relation to expan- 
sion, 84-86, 89, 101, 183; removal 
of, 190 

Convention, linguistic (sariketa), 135, 
197, 200 

Cosmic-order (satfadhvan), 202, 210 

Cosmos {brahmanda), 21 1 

Council, Buddhist, 1-2 

Couple, divine (yamala), 101, 117 

Covering, obscuring (kancuka), 
131, 165 

Craving (abhilasa), 217 

Creation, 79; illusory according to 
Sankara, 86; pure and impure, 84, 
166; relation to destruction, 84- 

86, 89 

Crematorium, 143, 144 

Cukhala, 11 

Cycles, 117; cognitive, 124; contained 
in Ahaip, 188; creative and de- 
structive, 81, 84-86, 124, 125, 164, 
202; primary and secondary, 152 


Daily life (vyavahara), 57 

Dantfin, 228 

Descent, 89 

Desire, as actualized will, 41, 92; based 
on freedom, 39; object of, 92; 
renunciation of, 154 

Destruction, nature of, 79, 86, 89; 
relation to creation, 84-86, 89 

Deep sleep, 84, 122, 132, 182, 214 

Deity, as consciousness, 105; concept 
of, 61; both formless and omni- 
form, 66; as Light, 61 

Delight, aesthetic, 264 

Desakrama, 81 

Devatitasimha, 2 

Devotion, 147, 154, 169; path of, 33 

Devyayamala, 14 

Dharmabhiksu, 2 

Dharmaklrti, 2 

Dharmottaracarya, 2 

Dhvanyaloka, 10 

Digestion, violent (hafhapaka), 
157, 207 

Dikcarl, 129, 131 

Dinnaga, 2 

Disciple, 168, 178 

Disciplines {niyama), 209, 266 

Discrimination, 1 10 

Dispassion (viraga, paravairagya), 

Dissolution (dravana), 88-89; contem- 
plation of (layabhavana), 210 

Disturbance, 1 14 

Diversity, 173, 176; absent in anupaya, 
180; level of, 114, 115; pervasion 



of, 159; relation to unity, 65-66 
Divine (sambhava) absorption, 172; 

plane, 208; state, 204, 206 
Division (bheda), 74, 1 14, 130, 142, 261 
Doubt, 155, 168, 192 
Drama, cosmic, 149 
Dreaming, 84-85, 195, 254; control of, 

Durlabhavardhana, 2 
Durvasas, 18, 288, 289 
Dvivedi, V., 225, 231 

Earth-centre, 22 

Effort, applied to practice, 207 

Ego, 110, 131, 136, 138, 140, 142, 143; 
concept in Stanzas and Kallafa, 27; 
disruption due to, 155; eradication 
of, 195; freedom from, 264; func- 
tion of, 135; limited, 115; limited, 
merger with universal ego, 188-89; 
loss of, 122; nature of, 133; pure, 
identified with own nature, 185; 
pure, withdrawal of objectivity 
into, 210-11; as source of senses, 
137; super-, concept of originates 
in Kashmiri Saivism, 258-9; 
supreme, 142; universal, 113, 115, 
135, 141, 185 

Egoity, all embracing, 92; embodied, 
128, establishment in authentic 
form of, 159; pure, 198; universal, 
penetration into, 180 

Ekayana, 221 

Elements, purification of {bhiita- 
suddhi), 210 

Emanation, relation to absorption, 80; 
nature of, 87; process of as A ham, 

Embodiment, 265 

Emergence, 1 19; relation to quiescence, 
96-97, 100, 10! 

Emission (visarga), 81, 101, 126; 

relation to Bhairava, 100; as Ha 

of Aham, 186; generated through 
union of Siva and Sakti, 100-101; 
power of (visargasakti), 149 

Empowered (sakta) absorption, 172; 
contact (saktasparsa), 2 1 7; means, 
(saktopaya), 189-204 

Emptiness, relation to fullness, 1 19; the 
subject, 38, 40, 41 

Energy, cosmic patterns of, 117; flood 
of (saktivisargd), 93; waves of, 117 

Enjoyment (bhoga), Ml 

Essence (sara), 54 

Ethics, transcendence of, 194 

Exertion (udyama\ 124, 152, 157, 180; 
as the basis of practice, 154 

Expansion {unme$a\ 92, 118; en- 
genders thought, 153; from the 
centre, 119, 182; generated by 
Bhairavimudra\ 159; Great, 157, 
160, 179; inward and external, 157; 
as liberating, 154, 155, 164-65; 
realisation of, 157; relation to con- 
traction, 84-86, 89, 101, 158, 183 

Experience, importance of, 169; as 
means and the goal, 168, 169 

Externality, defined, 78 

Extroversion, 157 

Eyes, opening and closing of, 85 

Faith (sraddha), 154, 169 

Fettered, the, 130, 134, 150, 165, 191, 
198, 199, 261 

Fierce (ghora) powers, 114; Extremely 
(ghoratara), 1 1 5 

Finite, relation to infinite as mode of 
knowing, 97 

Fire, 125; centre, 212; inner, that con- 
sumes diversity, 142, 157; as 
symbol of the subject, 64; 
Temporal (kalagni), 21 1 

Flow, 90, 117, 118; sensorial from the 
subject, 152; supreme {paradhara) 
of energies, 95 



Forces (kala\ 102, 185, 198 

Form (rupa), 265 

Fourth state (turiya), 84, 109, 1 18, 120, 
161, 182, 189; as absorbing other 
states, 207; compared to Beyond 
the Fourth state, 213-15; as the 
goddess of consciousness, 214; 
maintenance of, 215, 216, 21 7 ; 
nature of, 214, 266; in other states, 
2 1 4, 2 1 5, 2 1 6; rise to through other 
states, 210; wonder of, 216 

Fullness, 175, 178, 180, 185, 193, as 
anupaya, 177; belonging to the 
absolute and its manifestations, 
40, 55, 87; as consciousness, 82; as 
the Fourth state, 118; contains all 
levels of being, 74; at every level of 
being, 88-89; loss of, 156; as power, 
111, 119; relation to emptiness 
119, 120; realisation of, 93, 95, 164 

Functions, cosmic of Siva, 1 12 

Freedom {svatantrya), 122, 134, 150, 
180, 196, 214, 264; and bondage, 
139; concept of in Advaita Vedanta 
and Kashmiri Saivism, 39; to 
create and destroy, 159, as creativ- 
ity of consciousness. 55. as the 
goal. 34; loss of, 156. in relation to 
Maya, 7 9, as power and independ- 
ence, i 10-1 1; as pure intention 
(Uchamdira), i 13: possessed by 
Siva 64, 97. 146 yoga of, 215 


Ghurni, Ghurnana. See Vibration 
Gocarl, 129, 131 
God, concept of in Advaita Vedanta, 

45; in Kashmiri Saivism, 46; names 

of, 46 
Goddess, 63, 84, 1 20, 1 24, 1 25, 1 77, 214; 

inferior, 130; middling, 130; 

supreme, 116, 124, 129, 130, 196, 

255, 260 
Goddesses, triad of, 118, 124, 125, 226 
Grace. 109, 1 19, 131, 132, 168, 173, 175, 

178, 182. 217, 255 
Guna. See Qualities 
Gurunathaparamarsa, 1 1 


Ha, 186-88 

Haravijaya, 26 

Harivamsa, 229 

Hathapaka. See Digestion, violent 

Heart, 125, 126, 148, 155, 201, 212; 
awareness in, 73; centre, 119, 151, 
184. 2 13; light in, 97, 181; pulsation 
of, 120, 136. 149, 193, space in, 127, 
157; as supreme speech, 196, 201 

Heidegger, 52-53 

Hero, solitary {ekavira), 1 17; vow of 
(viravrata), 143 

Hieiarchy (taratamya), 42-43, 88-89 

Hiranyadama, 6 

Hsiian Tsang, 2 

Gamuiantra. 233 

Game, cosmic 166, 167 

Ganesa, 145 

Garu(Jatar.uas, 6, 223 

Gaudapada. 86 

Gem, wishfulfillmg, 104, 105 

Gesture imudra) % 106, 193; Secret, 95; 

Supreme, 95 
Ghora, 261. See also Fierce powers 
Ghoratara. See Fierce powers, 

T-consciousness, 148; absorbs subtle 
body, 108; active and at rest, 71-72; 
authentic, identification with, 134; 
as cycle of Aham, 103, 186-88; 
embraces all cycles of creation and 
destruction, 84; as the Great 
Mantra, 202; as the Heart, 145; in 
initial moment of perception, 159; 



as knowing and acting subjectivity, 
72-73; limited, 137; as Lord of the 
Wheel, 126; persistence of, 91; 
relation to 'this'-consciousness, 
166; as repose in one's own nature, 
233; as return to source of percep- 
tion, 181; as supreme subject, 213; 
transcendental, 102; two levels of, 
109, 133, 140; as universal Spanda, 

107, 159; as void, 122 

I-ness, 75, 128, 202; 213; projected onto 
the object; pulsation of, 90, 110 

Idealism, Buddhist, 49-50; Kashmiri 
Saiva, proof of, 47-49 

identification, 74; false, 133, 134, 140, 
141, 142 

Identity, supreme, 264 

Ignorance, 155, 168; as cause of doubt, 
155; freedom from, 164; as limited 
knowledge 165; not material, 165; 
power of, 175, 193; removal of, 
175; spiritual, as contracted con- 
sciousness, 164; ultimately unreal, 

Illusion, 36-39 

Immanence, 113, 114, 120, 163-64; 
relation to transcendence, 102 

Impulse (samrambha), 134 

Impurity, 155, 208; three kinds of, 156; 
ultimately unreal, 194 

Individual (anava) absorption, 172; 
level, 205, 207-8; means (anavo- 
paya), 204; soul 126, 152, 155-56, 
166, 173, 176; subject, 94, 97, 

108, 103 
Indranl, 145 

Infinite, 215; relation to finite, 40, 97 
Initiation, 167 

Inner, relation to outer, 77-80, 160 
Insight, direct (upalabdhi), 169 
Instant, initial of the will, 93 
Instinct, as Voice of Intuition, 196 
Intellect, 131, 132-33, 145 
Intensity, psychic, 93 
Intent, 91-96, 151, 182, 210 
Intention, pure (icchamatra), 113 

Internality, defined, 78 

Interiority (antaratva), 46-47 

Introversion, 148, 156 

Intuition (pratibha), 107, 110, 149, 152, 

162, 182, 196, 205, 214; supreme, 

Intuitive faculty (rnati), 191 
Involution (nirnesa), 92 
Isa, 103 

Isika. See Lordship 
hvaradvayavada, 46 
Isvarakr§na, 35 

Isvarapraiyabhijnakarika, 10, 17 
Is vara, 235 
Isvaratattva, 166, 183 

Jalandharapitha, 12 

Japa. See Mantra, repetition of 

Jivanmukti. See Liberation 


Kaksvastotra, 232 

Kalacuri, 5 

Kalakrama, 81 

Kalasa, king, 15 

KalasaktU 112 

KalasarikarsinI, 46, 124 

Kalhana, 1, 3, 4, 14, 16, 222, 227 

Kali, 9, 16, 46 

Kalikrama, 16 

Kallkulal antra, 233 

Kalis, twelve, 30, 124, 260 

Kallaiabhatta, 14, 21, 103, !95, 250, 

262, 266 
Kamakala, 103 
Kamesvara, 102 
Kamesvari, 102 

Kaixcuka. See Covering, obscuring 
Kaniska, king, 1 
Kapalika order, 9 
Karma, 98, 141, 217 



Kama, 1 1 

Karttikeya, 223 

Kashmir, 1, 222; as a centre of Bud- 
dhism, 1-3; Kaula ritual in, 15-16; 
land of origin of the Pratyabhijna, 
19; relations with Tibet, 2-3; script 
of, 2; Saivism in, 3; Tantrism in, 

Kashmiri Saivism, 9, 12, 14, 19, 87, 105, 
171; characterisation of, 51-52; 
meaning of the term, 2-3; practice 
of, 8; relation with the Tantras, 13; 
relation to Trika, 12, 225; syncretic 
character of, 23 

Kaula, Madhusudana, 31, 230, 231 

Kaula schools, 181 

Kaulatantras, 11, 227 

Kaulas, 14-16 

Kaumarl, 145 

Kaw, R. K., 231 

Khecari, 128, 129, 130 

Knowledge, 89, 157; inferior and su- 
perior, 165, 177, 261; innate 
(sahaja), 215; four-fold (Jnana- 
catuska), 171; liberating, 33, 164; 
limited, 131; limited power of, 150; 
manifests as object 49; means of, 
63-64, 124, 166; power of, 63, 80, 
85,90, 96-97, 108, 112, 166, 173, 
175, 176, 177, 181; power of, con- 
tracted by thought-constructs, 
190; as prakasa, 133; pure (suddha- 
vidya), 159, 166, 170, 194, 208; re- 
lation to action, 72, 80; as subject, 

Krama. See Succession 

Krama doctrine, 124, 129; integrated 
into Spanda teachings, 29, 260-61 

Krama school, 9, 12, 13, 17, 145, 225; 
relation to Spanda school, 233 

Kramamudra, 160-61 

Kriyakalottara, 223 

Krsna, 169, 229 

Ksemaraja, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30, 31, 
167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 189, 
204, 207, 260, 262, 263 

Ksetrajna. See Individual subject 
Ksemendra, 15, 16, 227, 228 
Kula y 9, 17, 101, 224; present in all 

scripture, 226 
Kulaprakriya, 13 
Kula school, 12, 13, 225; relation to 

Trika, 13, 225 
Kulatantras, 227 
Kulayukti, 256 
Kumarajlva, 2 
Kundalini, 9, 119, 130, 159, 208 

Lakullsa, 229 

Language, 197, 199-200 

Lassitude, 155 

Latent traces, 135 

Letters, 185, 202 

Levels, in order of manifestation, 88-89; 
inferior, 173, 176; intermediate, 82; 
middling, 173, 176; three, 74-75 

Liberation, 115, 127, 147, 167, 177,212, 
213, 217-18; as abiding in one's 
own nature, 164; attainment of, 
162; in the body (jivanmukti), 128, 
167; and bondage, 114, 122-23, 
140-41; by conviction, 194; by 
knowledge of Maya, 54; by mas- 
tery of the Wheel of Energies 
(cakresvaratvasiddhi), 127; means 
to, 154; by penetrating the body, 
140; as permanent contemplation, 
264; through purification of the 
intuitive faculty, 191; through 
recognition, 17-18; sudden, 178, 

Life (jivana), 137 

Light, 26, 128, 143, 146, 161 ; bliss of, 62; 
merger in, 127; mysticism of, 61- 
62; symbolism of, 62-63. See also 

Limitations (upadhi), 65 

Logos, 53 

Lord, Supreme, 1 18, 122, 129, 144, 196, 



Lordship, 90, 114, 123 


Macrocosm, 158 

Madhavacarya, 231 

Madhumateya, 5 

Madhuraja, 225 

Mahaghora, 199 

Mahakalabhairava, 7, 223-24 

Mahalaksmi, 145 

Mahavikasa. See Expansion, Great 

Mahavyapti. See Pervasion, Great 

Mahesvara, 103 

Malinivijayottaratantra, 12, 14, 31, 
171, 172, 179, 226 

Manila, 107 

Mandra, 11 

Manifestation (abhasa), 124; as appear- 
ance within consciousness, 47; as 
'atomic* constituents of reality, 
55-57; concept of, 25; as outpour- 
ing of the absolute, 40-41; process 
of, 88-89; reality of, 52-53; as suc- 
cessive 82; three phases of, 90; two 
types of, 137 

Mantra, 177, 180, 218, 262, 263; Great, 
127; as T-consciousness, 203; 
inner, 193; nature and practice of, 
200-4; power of, 142; purifies 
thought, 203; recitation of (uc- 
cdra) y 172, 173; repetition of ijapa), 
193; vitality of (mantravirya), 203 

Mantravada, 223 

Manoratha, 1 1 

Maradatta, 228 

Master, 167, 178, 255, 257; infuses 
awareness, 193; relation with dis- 
ciple, 168; word of, 178, 179 

Mataftgatantra, 190 

Matrka, 215, 261; as binding and liber- 
ating, 199; classes of, 199 

Matrkacakra, 198 

Matrkasakti, 198 

Maifsadbhava, 46 

Mattamayura, 5 

Maya, 115, 128, 133, 143, 166, 191, 194, 
216, 218; concept of according to 
Advaita Vedanta, 36; concept of 
according to the Tantras, 37; as 
creative freedom and awareness, 
79, 190; criticism of Advaita 
Vedanta's concept of, 37, 41; dis- 
tracts the una wakened, 94; domain 
of, 107-8; the illusory world, 38; 
power of, 71,108, 111, 112, 132; in 
relation to freedom, 79; as sphere 
of the lower gods, 105; as the 
sphere of objectivity, 54, 183; as 
the sphere of thought-constructs, 
184; splits subject from object, 57 

Means to realisation (upaya), 172, 173- 
75, 177, 206-7, 208; divine, 172-73, 
180-89; empowered, 173, 259, 260, 
264, 265; empowered can lead to 
divine means, 180; empowered, 
designed to purify thought, 191; 
empowered, relation to Spanda 
practice, 260; individual, 173, 263; 
individual, can lead to divine 
means, 180; individual, can lead to 
empowered means, 206, 264, 265, 
individual, relation to Spanda 
practice, 259 

Meditation (dhydna\ 172, 173, 177, 
193, 209, 210, 213; on the Fire of 
Consciousness {dahacinta), 210-1 1 

Memory, power of, 112 

Microcosm, 158 

Mimamsaka, 108 

Mind, 108, 123, 131, 135-36, 153, 185; 
associated with Mantra, 203; as 
Self, 205; as Siva, 263; steadying 
of, 212 

Mirror, analogy of, 47, 66-68 

Moharajaparajaya, 228 

Momentariness, 79-80 

Moon, 64, 125, 212 

Motion, 81 

Mudra, 161. See also Gesture 

Multiplicity (bheda), 263 



Muslims, 5 
Mysticism, 62 
Myth, 224 


Nameless (nirnama), 103 

Nanatmavadins, 232 

Naradasamgraha, 123 

Narasirnhagupta, 11, 51 

NarayanabhaUa, 105 

Narmamala, 15 

Naropa, 3 

Natural law (niyati), 89, 131, 140 

Nature {prakrti\ 34-35, 133, 152, 208 

Nafyasastra, 10 

New Way, 39, 235 

NayakabhaUa, 106 

Nayottaratantra, 6 

Netivadins, 232 

Netratantra, 209 

Nimesa. See Involution 

Nirmanasakti, 1 12 

Nirupaya, 256 

Niyati. See Natural Law 

No-means. See anupaya 

Non-being, 121-31 


Object, 165; aesthetic, 148, 149; as 
aggregate of appearances (abhasa), 
55-57; one with cognition, 48-49; 
as a reflection in consciousness, 67; 
in relation to the subject, 48, 63-64, 
78-80, 97, 118; sensory, as aid to 
worship, 150; sphere of, 113, 153; 
wheel of, 124 

Oblation, inner, 142, 193 

Ojas, 149. See also Vitality 

One, 158 

Oneness, 37-38, 41, 42, 43-44, 54-55, 
143, 154 

Oneself, possession of {svatma- 

graha), 164 
Opposites, 99, 244 
Outpouring, 129, 152, 153 
Outer, in relation to inner, 77-80, 160 
Own nature, 27, 28, 51, 107, 1 10-11, 

164, 168; as Deity, 105; fullness of, 

157; as Kula, 224 

Padmasambhava, 3 

Pancaratra, 221, 222, 232 

Pandey, K. C, 18, 28, 225, 231, 232 

Paradhara, See Flow, supreme 

Parakasfha. See Being, summit of 

Paramadvaita, 53 

Paramarthasara, 25, 232 

Paramasiva, 46, 64, 180, 213 

Paramcsvara, 103 

Parapara. See Level, intermediate 

Parasakti. See Power, supreme 

Paratrimsika, 225 

Parinama. See Change and Trans- 

Particular, relation to universal, 190 

Passion (kama), 103, 104 

Pasupata, 8-9, 13, 224 

Pasupatasiitra, 8 

Pasyantl See Speech, as Voice of 

Patanjali, 208, 209, 265 

Path, pure and impure, 1 14 

Pavanasiva, 5 

Perception, 91, 165-66, 173; direct, 51; 
initial instant of, 119, 180-81, 263; 
juncture between, 184; phases in 
the act of, 97, 136, 151, 174; 
phenomenology of, 48-49; sensory, 
132; unifying function of, 51, 80; 
world of, 185 

Perceiver, 27 

Pervasion, 161; Great (mahavyapti), 
95, 120 

Person (purusa), 34-35, 151, 152, 208 

Phainesthai, 53 



Phenomenon, 53 

Philosophy, relation to religion, 1, 62 

Phonemes, energies of, 199-200 

Picture, cosmic, 107 

Pleasure, as essentially spiritual, 147- 
48; as means to realisation, 217 

Point (bindu), 265 

Posture (asana), 209, 211 

Potentiality, prior to manifestation, 

Power, 190; inferior, 114-16, 124; mid- 
dling, 1 14, 124; oneness of, 1 16; of 
one's own nature (svabala), 90; 
penetration into {saktisamavesa), 
266; plurality of, 90; rays of, 190; 
relation to many powers, 190; 
withdrawal of (saktisamkoca), 
156; sphere of, where means and 
goal are distinct, 123; supreme, 
214. See also Sakti 

Practice, 170, 180 

PradyumnabhaUa, 29 

Pragmatic efficacy (karanasamarthva), 

Prakasa, 28, 113, 116, 148, 180, 211, 
213; all things one with, 47; beyond 
the sphere of Maya, 54; as bindu, 
186, 188; in the centre, 184; change- 
less nature of, 87; defined, 59; as 
Deity, 61; experienced through the 
senses, 138; formless and omni- 
form, 65-66; in the Heart, 181; as 
illuminating light, 61-62; not life- 
less, 26-27; as the mirror of con- 
sciousness, 66-68; nature of, 60//!; 
in the psycho-physical organism, 
263; reflected in the intellect, 133; 
relation to perception, 97; relation 
to vimarsa, 26-27, 72; as sabdarasi, 
1 98; as Siva, 203; as sole reality, 60, 
235; as subject, object and means 
of knowledge, 63-65; as subject 
who absorbs duality, 44; as sub- 
stratum of manifestation, 167 

Pramiti. See Awareness, cognitive 

Prasara. See Flow 

Pratib im ba vadim, 23 2 
Pratyabhijna doctrine, main features 

of, 17-20; relation to Spanda 

doctrine, 23-24 
Pratyabhijna school, 10, 170; as a 

critique of Buddhism, 20; place 

in Kashmiri Saivism, 19; relation 

to Spanda school, 59, 231; relation 

to Trika, 18 
Pratyaksadvaita, 51 
Prayer, penetration into Spanda 

through, 182 
Present, 120, 184 
Principle, supreme, 266; penetration 

into, 216 
Pulse {sphurana), 90 
Puranas, 224 
Purandara, 5 
Purnata. See Fullness 
Purnahania. See I-ness 

Qualities [guna\ 108, 133, 213, 246 
Quiescence, 96-97, 101, 114 


Radiance [sphuratta), 57, 77, 136, 142, 
154, 190, 196; manifest through the 
senses, 137; as matrka, 198 

Rajanaka Rama, 22, 23, 25, 29, 262 

Rajas, 108, 133 

Rqjatarariginl, 1 

Rama, 184 

Ramanuja, 221 

Rastogi. N., 233 

Ratnakara, 26 

Reality, concept of, 43; as manifesta- 
tion, 52; ultimate, 163 

Realisation, ultimate, 179 

Reason, importance, nature and 
function of, 169-70; 256 

Recognition, 20, 180, 185, 199; in 



anupaya, 1 77, 1 79; of awareness 
in the body as the supreme power, 
116; of expansion, 154, 160; as 
liberating, 17-18, 123; philosophy 
of, 170; to Saivasiddhanta, 20, 230; 
of Spanda, 27, 143, 146, 156, 179- 
80; of Siva, 115, 126, 134; of 
supreme subject, 161 

Recognition school, 59, 179; relation 
to Spanda school, 27-28 

Reflection, cosmic, 66-68, 159 

Relation, notion of, 135 

Relative distinction (bheda), 40-42, 78 

Relishing (carvana), 124 

Rest (visrantil 81, 93, 133, 177, 213, 
214; abode of, 113, 121; of prakasa 
as bindu, 186; regaining of, 191; 
relation to emergence, 96-97, 100 

Restraints (yama\ 209, 265 

Rhythm, 166 

Ritual, 224; inner, 189, 193; outer, 173; 
types of, 8, 144 

Rodhana. See Self-limitation 

Root (mu/fl), 114-15 

Rudrayamala, 225 

Sabdarasi, See Sound, mass of 

Sacrifice, inner, 142 

Satfardhakrama, 18, 229 

Sadasiva, 4, 6, 235 

Sadasivatattva, 166, 183 

$adgunyaviveka, 232 

Sadyojyoti, 229, 230 

Sahopalambhaniyamavada, 49 

Saivagama, 13, 225, 229 

Saiva sects, 224 

Saivism, 223, 231; in Kashmir, 3-4, 

SakinI, 128 

Sakth 123, 173, 176; abode of, 90; 
expansion and contraction of, 1 1 1 
experience of, 126; as fullness, 1 19 
kinds of, 1 12-16; nature of, 110-16 

as principle of negation, 111; 
relation to Siva, 99, 102, 103, 161, 
188; as the universe. See also 

Saktisarnkoca. See Power, withdrawal 

Saktism, influence of on Spanda doc- 
trine, 29 

Samadhi. See Absorption; Con- 

Sambhavi, 133, 145 

Sambhu, 103, 107, 126 

Sambhunatha, 12, 13, 31, 171 

Samkhya, concept of consciousness in, 
66; criticism of, 152; principles of, 

Sammohanatantra, 6 

Sawsara, 96, 123, 147, 168, 265 

Samvitprakasa, 87, 183 

Sankara, 46, 86, 124, 160; identification 
with., 134; nature of, 104, 108; 
relation to Spanda, 100-1 

Sanketa. See Convention, linguistic 

Sara. See Essence 

Sarasvatsamgraha, 82 

Sarvacaratantra, 155 

Sarvadarsanasaryigraha, 23 1 

Sattva, 108, 133, 135, 137 

Scripture, 168 

Sdok Kok Thorn, 6 

Self, 27, 122, 123, 145, 206, 213, 215, 
232; concept of in Advaita Vedan- 
ta, 35-36; as consciousness, 44, 204; 
false identification of, 109, 133; as 
^-consciousness, 134; inner, 
activity of, 152; as mind, 205; as 
object of worship, 105; perfectly 
free, 110-11; proof of existence of, 
170; shines just once, 82, 179 

Self-awareness (svasamvedana), 
109, 116 

Self-evidence, 169 

Self-limitation (rodhana), 88-89 

Self-realisation (atmalabha), 93 

Sensations, 135, 136, 138, 148, 152, 165; 
emergence of, 188 



Senses, 124, 131; deities of, 144, 145, 
146;divinizationof, 146; divinized, 
150; expansion of, 151, 152, 157; 
inner and outer circles of, 139, 144, 
145, 151, 158; introverted and ex- 
troverted, 146; freedom of, 157, 
158; as means to realisation, 147; 
physical and divine, 144, 145, 146; 
powers of, 11 2; twelve, 124; univer- 
sal and individual function of, 158; 
vitalization of, 152; wheel of, 

Siddhadarsana, 178 

SiddhU 1 15, 127, 128, 206, 265; as dis- 
tracting, 216; as liberation, 189; 
supreme and inferior, 116, 128 

Siddhanta, 5, 1 1, 26, 222, 226, 227, 229; 
place in Kashmiri Saivism, 5, 14; 
philosophy of, 221; as a source for 
the Pratyabhijfia, 19-20 

Siddhantagamas, 232; cults and rituals 
of, 4 

Siddhayogesvarimata, 12, 14, 179, 258 

Sir 'aschedal antra, 6 

Siva, 128, 131, 132, 133, 142, 145, 147, 
150, 170, 173, 176, 224; all states 
one with, 95; all things one with, 
64-65, 167; all things within, 83; as 
artist, 107; as author of the Siva- 
sutra, 21; as the Benefactor, 182; 
bliss of, 90, 92, 141; as blissful per- 
ceiver, 146; body of, 141, 143; as 
consciousness, 26, 44-45, 158, 163; 
deity of Spanda school, 46; exper- 
ience of, 84, 116, 120, 180; as 
ground of manifestation, 107; in 
the Heart, 123, 126; as highest god, 
104-5; identification with, 115, 
173, 192, 208, 213, 215; imitation 
of, 146; impeller of His energies, 
98; impeller of the senses, 152; 
incarnates as Srlkantha, 18; as 
light, 6 1 ; Mantra and mind emerge 
from, 203; master of powers, 122; 
as object of knowledge (jneya), 
192; as object of meditation, 106; 

as the one reality, 50; as one's 
own nature, 185; the poet, 149; 
powers of, 90, 103, 105, 122; pro- 
cesses in, 124; as Rama, 184; real- 
isation of, 179, 190; reveals Him- 
self, 175; as sabdarasi, 198; and 
Sakti,99, 102, 103, 121; as Self, 26; 
Sky of (sivavyoman), 119; as 
source of means to realisation, 1 73 ; 
and Spanda, 85, 1 18, 163; state of, 
180; supreme and lower levels of, 
89, 90, 120, 235; three-fold aware- 
ness of, 189; union with Sakti, 29, 
161, 186; as universal agent, 98; 
worshipped in many forms, 105; 
both worshiper and worshipped, 

Sivadmi, 18, 231 

Sivakaivalya, 6 

Sivatattva, 180 

Sivaraman, 229 

Sivasutra, 12, 21-22, 168, 171, 231 

Sivopadhyaya, 256, 264 

Sky, wanderer in (khecara), 120; 
supreme, 122 

Somadeva, 16, 228 

Somananda, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 
46, 50, 93, 179, 231 

Sound, 265; mass of, 198, 199; un- 
struck, 202 

Sovereignty, 122, 196 

Space, twelve-finger, 212 

Spanda, 126, 164; as appreciative sub- 
jectivity, 148; as Bhairavl, 143; 
in the body, 141; as cognition, 51, 
63, 72, 136, 139; concept of absent 
in the Sivasutra, 263; as creative 
movement of consciousness, 28- 
29, 40, 57, 74, 77, 79, 1 18; dawning 
of (spandodaya), 181; doctrine, 
103, 163, 195; as dynamic Being, 
52; experienced through merger of 
the breath, 98, 127, 132, 156, 170, 
212; forms of, 75, 84, 92, 93; glory 
of (vibhutispanda), 141: as the 
goddess, 29, 68; as an independ- 



ent school, 231, 233, 262; induces 
expansion of consciousness, 75; 
induces expansion and contrac- 
tion, 86; as intent {aunmukhya) of 
consciousness, 182; nature of, 24, 
81; as oscillation between self- 
limitation and dissolution, 89; 
philosophy of (spandasiddhanta), 
262; as power, 29, 68, 79,97, 111, 
113, 149; practice, 31, 171, 182; as 
primordial vibration (adya- 
spandal 96, 113, 136, 143; as 
radiance (sphuratta), 26, 60; real- 
isation of, 115, 154, 160; relation 
to Mantra, 210, 202; relation to 
Sarikara, 100-1; school, develop- 
ment of and texts, 21-22; as self- 
awareness, 109; as sensory energy, 
146; as Siva's divinity, 45, 105; 
supreme form of, 255; system, 
Sakta character of, 233; three 
phases of, 89-90; transcendental 
form of, 1 1 8; as two phases of con- 
templation, 30; as union of Siva 
and Sakti, 29, 100-2; universal, 27; 
universal, of cosmic bliss, 185; 
universal and particular, 57, 107, 
109-10; 112, 127, 129, 159, 169, 
183, 184, 190; as Vamesvari, 130; 
as vimarsa, 28, 70-75; voidness of, 
120, 121-2; as wonder (camatkara) 
and the source of the powers of 
consciousness, 72 

Spandanirnaya, 22 

Spandapradipika, 22 

Spandasakti, 84; Ksemaraja alone uses 
this term, 29; as means to realisa- 
tion, 103; as means through which 
Deity manifests, 106; as one with 
Sarikara, 101; as pure cognitive 
awareness (upalabdhrta), 96; as 
pure ego, 134 

Spandasamdohu, 22, 185 

Speech, 185; Corporeal (vaikhari), 196. 
197; development out of con- 
sciousness and relation to thought. 

195-97; goddess of, 196; power of, 
113; supreme, 195-96, 202; as Voice 
of Intuition ipasyanti), 196, 197 

Sphulihgatmavadins, 232 

Sphuratta. See Radiance 

Sphurana. See Radiance; Pulse 

Srlkantha, 18, 229 

Srikanfhiyasamhita, 226 

Srlnatha, 18 

Srong-bcan-sgampo, 2 

Stanzas on Vibration 20; accord with 
scripture, 169; commentaries on, 
21-22; concept of superego absent 
in, 185; divisions of, 167; practices 
taught in, 182, 189, 204; terms 
prakasa and vimarsa absent in, 
59; relation to Sivasutra, 22, 204, 
205, 231; represent teachings of a 
distinct school, 263 

State, supreme, 122 

Strength, inner {bala), 141, 154, 189; 
empowers Mantras and senses, 
152, 203; realisation of, 169, 195 

Subject, conceived, 134; independence 
of, 48; individual, 113, 134, 165, 
166, 205-6; linked to object and 
means of knowledge, 63-64, 78-80, 
97, 118, 159; persistence of, 122; 
pure, 213; split from object, 111, 
129, 142; supreme, 64, 96, 119; 
supreme, recognition of, 160, 161; 
universal, 130, 166, 172, 197; 
unreal, 263; wheel of, 124 

Subjectivity, cognising, 148; embodied, 
143, 217; enjoying (bhoktrtva), 90; 
orders of, 217; perceiving, 155, 
184; perceiving, Buddhist denial 
of, 122; as power of Mantra, 202; 
pure (upalabdhpa), 110, 164, 170, 
185, 189, 213, 214; supreme, 141 

Substance, as consciousness, 48; 

obnoxious to be offered without 
aversion, 260 

Subtle body, 108, 115, 126, 205, 250 

Succession (krama), 82-84, 117, 
125, 161 



Sumati, 12, 13 

Sun, 64, 125, 134, 144, 212 

Superego, absent in original Spanda 

doctrine, 26-27; its origin in the 

Pratyabhijna, 19 
Supports, formation of (sthana- 

k alp ana). 172 
Supramental (unmana), 215 
Supreme, 173, 176 
Svacchandabhairavatantra, 8, 14, 120, 

121, 209 
Svatantresa, 133 
Svatantrya. See Freedom 
Svatmagraha. See Oneself, possession 

Svatmocchalatta. See Outpouring 
Svetasvataropanisad, 26, 150 
System, as specific term, 231-32 

Tamas, 108, 133, 138 

Tanmatra, 108 

Tantra, 158, 171, 179 

Tantras, 140, 142, 144, 145, 224, 226; 
their types, 4-9 

Tantraloka, 10, 1 1, 12, 14, 171, 172, 227 

Tantraprakriya, 13 

Tantric lineages, 4 

Taratamya. See Hierarchy 

Taste (rasa), 265 

Tasting, {asvadana), 147-48 

Tattva. See Categories 

Tattvayukti, 256 

Tension, 93 

Thon-mi Sambhota, 2 

Thought-constructs, 126, 135, 136, 143, 
159, 174, 208, 216, 217; affects not 
consciousness, 191-92; as binding 
and obscuring, 123, 165, 168, 185, 
190, 191, 194; break up unity, 42, 
69, 78; contemplation with and 
without, 264; like dreams, 163, 
208, 254; generation of, 108, 119, 
142, 153, 166, 182, 198; nature of. 

192; purification, elimination and 
transcendence of, 142, 162, 173, 
191, 192, 195, 203, 206; relation to 
speech, 185, 197 

Tibet, 2 

Time, 218; absent in consciousness, 81, 
83, conquest of, 120; fire of, 143; 
generation of, 184; notion of, 82- 
83; power of, 93, 131 

Totality, law of (gramadharma), 184 

Transcendence, 102, 113, 114, 120, 
163, 209 

Transformation [parinama), 88 

Transmigration, 155, 156 

Triad, 113 

Trident (trisiila), 181 

Trighantika, 15-16 

Trika, 10, 11,31, 171, 179; aims at real- 
isation of absolute (anuttara), 257; 
categories of, 173; as independent 
school, 225, 226-27; goddesses of, 
12, 15, 113; in Kashmir, 14-15; 
Kaula character of, 13, 16, 100; 
origins of, 12, 18; outside Kashmir, 

17, 228; relation to Pratyabhijna, 

18, 229, 231 
Trikamata, 228 
Trikasara, 12, 227 
Tripifaka, 2 

Trisirobhairavatantra, 14, 255 
Truth, relative and absolute, 37-38 
Tryambika, 18, 229 

Tucci, 3 

Tumburu, 6, 223 

Turlya. See Fourth State 

Turlyatlta. See Beyond the Fourth 


Udo'iyana, 3 
Udyoga. See Exertion 
Indefinable (anakhyal 124, 180 
Unfolding (unmesa), 90; of becoming, 

152; of cognition, 94-95, 96; of 

consciousness, 95 



Union (samarasya), 116; Great, 159 
Unity, 74, 114, 130, 137, 159, 173. 176, 

261; as harmony of opposites, 98; 

of inner and outer, 121; level of, 

1 14, 1 16; realisation of, 95-96, 140; 

relation to diversity, 40-42, 65-66; 

splitting up of, 115; supreme, 226 
Unity-in-diversity (bhedabheda), 74, 

114, 130, 135, 173, 176 
Universal, relation to particular, 190 
Universe, 47-48, 67-68, 111, 112 
Unmesa. See Unfolding; Expansion 
Upadhi. See Limitations 
Upalabdhrta. See Spanda, as pure 

cognitive awareness; Subjectivity 
Upanisads, 86 

Upaya. See Means to realisation 
Upsurge (udyama), 206 
Utpaladeva, 10, 17, 18, 19, 22, 26, 27, 

28, 59, 258 

Vaisnavl, 145 

Vaisnavism, Kashmiri, 25, 26, 222, 232; 

monistic, 28 
Vakyasudha, 264 
Vamanadatta, 222, 232 
Vamatantras, 6, 226, 227 
Vamesvarl, 129-30 
Varadaraja, 21 
Varahagupta, 1 1 
Varahi, 145 
Variety (vicitrata), 85 
Vasubandhu, 50 
Vasugupta, 12, 21, 103, 168, 231 
Vatsalika, 1 1 
Vatuka, 145 
Veda, White Yajur, 221 
Vedanta, advaita, 24, 25, 34-35, 86, 105; 

types of, 24-25; schools of, 232 
Vibration, 92, 95; doctrine of, 8, 17, 20, 

21, 22-23, 189; as a symbol of the 

absolute, 62-63. See also Spanda 
Vicitrata. See Variety 

Vijnanabhairava, 119, 153, 210, 
255, 256 

Vikalpa. See Thought-constructs 

Vimarsa, 26, 28, 113, 115, 192, 233; as 
blissful, 72; as creative power and 
repose of consciousness, 70; as 
cause of diversity, 73; defined, 59; 
etymology of the term, 69; func- 
tioning of, 71, 72, 73-74; in the 
Heart, 1 84; inner and outer aspects 
of, 70-71; as Kamesvarl, 102; levels 
of, 74-75; as mantric power, 200; 
as matrka, 198; as self-awareness 
of consciousness and its manifesta- 
tions, 69, 72; as Spanda, 72, 28; as 
speech, 195-96; as subjective 
awareness, 115; as the will, 91 

Vinasikhat antra, 6 

Vinitadeva, 2 

Viravalitantra, 212 

Vlresa, 103 

Viryaksobha. See Vitality, arousal of 

Visarga, 102. See also Emission 

Vitality (virya), 149; arousal of, 149; 
inner, 154-55 

Void, 119, 129, 142, 144, 184, 212; 
abode of, 85; criticism of Buddhist 
conception of, 122; as emptiness of 
phenomena, 159; levels of, 120-21; 
not unconscious, 163; preceding 
manifestation, 96; as Siva, 1 19; as 
source and end of energies, 186 

Vyavahara. See Daily life 

Vyoma vamesvarl, 130 

Vyomesvarl, 130 


Waking, 84-85, 167, 195, 215, 254 

Water, 212 

Wheels, 30, 1 \6ff.\ can be both binding 
and liberating, 128; centre of, 126; 
contemplation of, 260; generation 
of, 117, 1 18; Lordof, 1 18, 122, 126, 
127; mastery of as liberation, 159, 



189; motion of, 118, 125; play of, 
202; twelve-spoked, 124 

Whole (pracaya), 215 

Will, 89; activity of, 136; as creative, 64; 
as ground of divine means, 180; 
initial instant of, 93, 96, 180; 
nature of, 90-95; power of, 90-96, 
173, 175, 176, 177, 181; two 
moments of, 92; universal, 166, 182 

Wind, 212 

Wisdom, path of, 33 

Withdrawal, 86, 126, 166; process of, 

Wonder (camatkara), 119, 139, 154, 
198; born of aesthetic experience, 
147, 149; experience of, 93, 217; as 
fruit of Bhairavimudra, 161; 
nature of, 199 

Word (sabda), 264 

World, 50; illusory nature of according 
to Yogacara, 49-50; reality of, 35, 
53, 235; reality of according to the 
commentators on the Stanzas on 
Vibration, 25-26; reality of accord- 
ing to Kashmiri Saivism and 

Advaita Vedanta, 24-25; 86; reality 
of according to the Siddhanta, 

World -orders (bhuvana), 148, 186 

World-picture, 115 

Worship ipuja), 150, 154, 177 

Yasahpala, 228 

Yasaskara, 228 

Yasastilaka, 16 

Yoga, 115, 169,213,215, 255; definition 
and nature of, 208-9; limbs of, 209, 
265-66; path of, 33; planes of, 161 

Yogacarabhumi, 2 

Yogacara, 49-50 

Yogaraja, 150 

Yukti, definition of the term, 255 

Zodiac, 124, 135